Tituli Picti are an ancient form of urban graffiti very common in the archaeological site of Pompeii (Naples, South—Italy). They are generally made of red pigments applied on walls of Campanian ignimbrite. This paper deals with a scientific investigation aimed to their conservation. This is a challenging task since it requires a multidisciplinary approach that includes restorers, archaeologists and conservation scientists. The study has provided suggestions on the proper way to conserve Tituli Picti over time. In the present work, several specimens of Campanian ignimbrite were painted with red earth pigment; lime and Arabic gum have been used as binders as well. Such painted stones were treated with three consolidants: a suspension of reactive nanoparticles of silica, ethyl silicate and an acrylic microemulsion. Treated and untreated specimens were subjected to thermal aging, artificial solar radiation and induced crystallization decay. It has been assessed the colorimetric variations induced by treatments. Moreover, the micromorphologic features of the consolidated surfaces have been highlighted by means of electron microscope observations. The scotch tape test allowed to compare the superficial cohesion induced by the three used products. According to the results, ethyl silicate seems to represent the most successful product.
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