Life in London during Roman time was a kind of Dolce Vita. A 2000 years old fresco, recently discovered on a City building, has revealed that the Romans were wealthy, had houses richly decorated and could employ the best decorators.
The fresco has been discovered during excavation in Lime Street, near Leadenhall Market, and it was possibly on the wall of some wealthy merchant.
Ian Betts, building material specialist for the MOLA, explains that ‘The fresco was discovered face down. It was lifted in 16 blocks, taken to the Museum of London conservation laboratory where each block was turned over. The top surface was then carefully cleaned. The top of each block was then photographed by MOLA photographer Andy Chopping and then the overall scheme was digitally reconstructed’.
It represents a scene of deers nibbling fruits on trees and it’s approximately 2.5 meters wide by 1.5 meters high. It is stored at MOLA’s head office at Mortimer Wheeler House in London, and although there is no plans at present to be displayed, it may go on display at the Museum of London sometime in the future.
The property developer and site owner – Silver State Holdings, has paid for the excavation work, including the cost of lifting the plaster and conserving each section.
Waiting for the fresco to be admired, you can enjoy other Roman artifact in London. ‘It terms of Roman London generally perhaps the best Roman artwork would be the marble sculptures from the Temple of Mithras - on display at the Museum of London’, says Betts.