Tapestries and Textiles Restoration Laboratory

Tapestries and Textiles Restoration Laboratory

In 1915 Pope Benedict XV founded the “Fabbrica Arazzi Pontificia”, the Pontifical Tapestries Laboratory, and in 1930 Pope Pius XI officially entrusted the conservation of the important Vatican Collection to the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary, a task previously carried out by the Arazzeria Romana di San Michele.
These were the first steps in the history of the laboratory that began to be commonly defined as the “nuns' laboratory”, renowned for the patience and special professional training and expertise of its workers.
On account of the specific nature of the material treated in the Laboratory, the Franciscan Missionary Sisters came over time to be assisted by highly specialised lay restorers trained in renowned schools of restoration.
Today the Laboratory, coordinated by Chiara Pavan, is staffed by seven restorers, of whom three are religious sisters.