This day in history

In the early afternoon of September 26, 1997 a sequence of earthquakes hit the Italian province of Umbria. The two main quakes, with a magnitude of 5.6-5.8, were followed by a series of aftershocks – one aftershock was so strong that it caused the partial collapse of the damaged roof of the basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. This dramatic event was filmed, which helped to evaluate the damage sustained by the historic frescos of the ceiling.

The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was hit in the night of 26 September 1997, and later, a stronger quake again at 11:42 a.m. resulting in the collapse of two frescoed vaults of the upper Basilica, and considerable damage to the wall of cavity construction. Cracks, partial collapses and permanent deformations were initiated throughout the Convent.

You can view a news report of the aftermath that contains some footage of the partial collapse.

There are videos and articles on the restoration process you can find online, but I thought it good to provide a video of the restored Basilica. The video is from Rick Stevens the famous tour guide. The video is from 2019.

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