Scientific study of Fátima sculpture


The project carried out in the framework of an agreement established between the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar and the Shrine of Fatima aimed at studying and preserving the sculpture of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima produced in 1920 by José Ferreira Thedim, which is today one of the greatest religious icons in the world.   The study was undertaken with the collaboration of other national institutions and had as its main objective to develop a deeper understanding of the sculpture. More specifically, the identification of the materials and techniques used in the production of the sculpture, as well as detect and locate the changes it has undergone over the years, identify changing processes and damage due to natural ageing of materials and manipulations and also to characterise its general state of preservation. The analysis undertaken at the time involved photographic shooting, detailed binocular observation, X-ray fluorescence, computerised tomography, biofilm sampling and collection of microscopic samples in a restricted number of areas of the piece that showed minimal surface damage. In March 2017, the data of this project have been published in the book Estudo científico da escultura de Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima (English: Scientific study of the sculpture of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima). http://www.cr.estt.ipt.pt/i/i09.pdf