Study proves authenticity of polychrome Centuripe vase
A bridge between archaeology and physics was created thanks to a study on a polychrome vase from Centuripe that had been seized by the Finance Police in 1992 and mistakenly believed to be a fake.
Using the innovative LANDIS-X scanner, developed in collaboration with LNS-INFN in Catania, researchers at IBAM-CNR in Catania have established the authenticity of this vase, preserved in the storeroom of the former Manifattura Tabacchi.
Coordinated by physicist Paolo Romano and archaeologist Giacomo Biondi, the researchers carried out a non-invasive identification of the palette of pigments used, bringing to light details of the faded polychromy of the Centuripe vase, which is now one of the few vases to have been proven authentic, without any layers of newer paint and in good condition.
The vase is of extraordinary documentary importance both for the singularity of the scene depicted for this type of vase and for the direct knowledge of techniques and style of Hellenistic painting.
The so-called “Centuripe vases” are named after the site of their discovery and production, the town of Centuripe. These vases are characterized by relief decorations obtained through the application of individual pieces and by the polychrome representation of symbolic subjects and figures.
The authenticity of these vases, displayed in museums around the world as rare pieces subject to forgery for their market value, is often disputed, as the origin of the vases is not always known.
To date, only ten of the polychrome vases from Centuripe known have been analysed to determine their authenticity.