Case Studies

Peace Mural, Lewiston, NY



The National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima is currently undergoing a 10-year renovation and expansion project scheduled for completion by their 100th anniversary of the Apparitions in 2017. The renovations include a multi-purpose extension adjacent to the original location of the Peace Mural, the sgraffito artwork by Joseph Slawinski which was created on site in 1975. The mural was to be moved to the new sacristy where it would be displayed along with the Barnabite Fathers' historical collection of holy relics.

One of the biggest concerns prior to the move was to preserve its current condition. The sgraffito technique employs a series of thin layers of colored concrete and mortar which the artist carves to reveal different colors at different depths. This type of artwork is very susceptible to cracking and delamination over time, so preparation for the move involved significant structural reinforcement and bracing to prevent any damage. The face of the mural was protected with layers of foam and foam board strapped into place to apply even pressure and prevent any shifting of the mortar.

Once the initial prep work had been completed, a jacking-and-cribbing system was devised to lower the mural in a series of steps from 5' to grade. A custom dolly system was engineered to work in the limited available space to move the mural, with great care and precision, from its original position in the sanctuary to the to the newly expanded reliquary.

Barnabite Father Julio Ciavaglia advised on the final positioning of the artwork and it was raised up to the new ceiling by ICC's specialized jacking team. New steel legs were then welded into position securing the mural in its new location.

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