CFP: ‘Medieval sculpture in the aftermath of the World War II: destruction, dispersion and restitution. The impact on research methodologies and tools’, International Cirice Congress 2023, deadline 20 September 2022

International Cirice Congress 2023, Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca sull’Iconografia della Città Europea

City and War: Military defences, ruins, permanence of urban memories and images Naples, 8–10 June 2023


Session C.7: Medieval sculpture in the aftermath of the World War II: destruction, dispersion and restitution. The impact on research methodologies and tools

Chairs: Paola Vitolo, Antonella Dentamaro,

The destructions caused by of the World War II represented, relatively recently with respect to the development of modern artistic historiography, a watershed in the investigation of medieval sculptural complexes. In the aftermath of the end of the conflict, the loss of materials on the one hand, the restoration and reconstruction of works on the other, have often changed in a profound and irremediable way sculptural works and micro architectural contexts (chapels, altars …), with a significant impact on the critical approach to this field of study and above all on the sense of identity linked to places, as well as on the categories of representation of spaces. At the same time, these interventions have in some cases represented the opportunity for important discoveries on the material conditions of the works, for example revealing signs of interventions made over the centuries to the original contexts, cases of reuse of materials/works, sculptures that have remained hidden after later interventions etc.

How much was irretrievably lost during the Second World War? What was the impact of the reconstructions on the iconography of the places? How many works still survives, although in a fragmented state, in museums and private collections? Which contexts could be materially recomposed or reconstructed through historical images and the support of virtual reconstructions? To what extent, on the other hand, have post-war interventions represented an opportunity for scientific research?

The session aims to investigate, through the discussion of case studies, how and to what extent World War II conditioned and posed new methodological questions in the field of medieval sculpture studies. The session is part of the activities of the MemId project (Memory and identity. Reuse, rework and repurposing of medieval sculpture in the Modern Age, between historical research and new technologies, FISR 2019).

Deadline for abstract submission: 20 September 2022

Submission of abstracts on the congress platform: submissions

Congress deadlines, instructions for registration and registration fees:


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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