It was 250 when Quinziano asked all Christians to publicly renounce their faith by enacting a ferocious persecution. Escaped with his family to Palermo Quinziano found them and made them return to Catania. When Quinziano saw the young woman in the presence, he fell in love with the young girl and unsuccessfully ordered her to repudiate her faith and adore the pagan gods. Upon Agata's decisive refusal, the proconsul entrusted her for a month to the rehabilitation custody of the courtesan Aphrodisia and her daughters, very corrupt people. Agata came out of that battle victorious and stronger than before, so much so as to discourage her own temptresses, who gave up their commitment, returning Agata to Quinziano. The attempt to corrupt the princes proved useless, Quinziano started a trial and summoned Agata to the praetorian palace. Short was the transition from trial to prison and violence with the intent to break the young woman.
The tripartite Baroque façade, with the two lower lateral bodies, has openings and a central window of elegant workmanship. The portal, surmounted by a tympanum, rests on two nuts. On the vaults of the nave groups of celebrating angels were frescoed by Pasquale Agudio between 1896 and 1897. The apse, with a square plan, underwent a transformation in the years 1969-71, also to comply with the provisions of the Second Vatican Council. The new altar was made with the pieces of the existing balustrades, modified and adapted around a central pillar. The ceiling of the apse is embellished with stuccoes probably from the 18th century and paintings, some by P. Agudio. In the apse, in place of the altar, framed by trompe l'oeil with floral motifs, there is a large 18th century oil painting on canvas representing the Madonna della Rosa. On dark clouds the Virgin and Child is depicted holding a rose in her hand. The dominant colors are the blue of the mantle and the red tinged with the pink of Mary's clothes.
STATE OF CONSERVATION
The interiors of the Sant'Agata complex present somewhat different conservation situations. The main materials on site which have been worked on are STONE MATERIALS, PLASTER, WALL PAINTINGS and WOOD (lacquered and polychrome). The plasters were in an advanced state of decay with large areas detached from the substrate due to the disintegration of the material and the underlying efflorescence. Presence of numerous stains especially on the ceilings, probably due to infiltrations (to be checked if still active). Multiple cracks are generally found on the entire plastered surface. The wall paintings, due to the humidity present in the walls, showed pulverization of the pictorial layer with consequent fall and loss of material. This causes the formation of numerous gaps which negatively affect the legibility of the works. Presence of numerous cracks and efflorescences visible to the naked eye. The altars in stone material were in fair condition, with the presence of a superficial deposit inconsistent with the substrate. Polychrome woods have problems related to the presence of xylophagous insects that cause the internal weakening of the structure. The varnished woods, on the other hand, showed falling off of the material and detachment of the surface layer of paint.
The fundamental objective of the project is the conservation of the artefact in its material reality. The intervention is aimed at eliminating what over time, overlapping the materials, has constituted a degradation factor and constitutes a vehicle for further pathogenic actions.
Completed restoration operations
Preliminary stratigraphic investigations and cleaning tests
Dry removal of incoherent surface deposits with flat brushes, brushes and vacuum cleaners by means of different mechanical cleaning processes, wet, dry, with solvents, compresses and with Agar gel.
Reestablishment of cohesion by impregnation by means of brushes, syringes, pipettes.
Integration of missing parts
Pictorial integration with aesthetic finishes, chromatic balance and chromatic revision.