Franco Adamo, lifelong restorer and ICCROM alumnus (1984), passed away on 12 May 2022, in the care of Adele Cecchini, his partner in life and work. Throughout his illustrious career, he helped bring new life to centuries’-old murals, sculptures, frescoes, paintings, archaeological materials and more.
Since the earliest stages of his career, he specialized in the conservation of hypogeum painting cycles – both in Italy and abroad. The breadth of his experience stretched from the Tomb of Nefertari in Egypt to the Vatican Necropolis. In 1981, he collaborated with ICCROM on a project in Jerusalem, working to restore the Al Aqsa Mosque’s fire-damaged dome paintings: the project later won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
His notable contribution to the painted tombs of Tarquinia and Southern Etruria helped establish new paradigms for preventive practice and heritage site management. He and Cecchini worked on the Tarquinia tombs for many years. Adamo contributed to Cecchini’s monograph on the tombs, throughout the creation of which she visited the ICCROM Archives to research and write. Recently, the Danish Academy in Rome presented his work on the vandalized Tomba dei Vasi Dipinti in Tarquinia. In addition to cleaning and consolidating the tomb’s painted surfaces, the event brought attention to a reversible and removable technique he based on archival documentation to reconstruct iconographic gaps. This novel method marks only one of his contributions to the field of restoration practice.
His absence is a significant loss to the field of cultural heritage restoration. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.