"Egyptian blue" pigment found in medieval altar

Reserachers from the University of Barcelona have discovered evidence of Egyptian Blue pigment on the altarpiece of the 12th century church of Sant Pere de Terrassa.

The pigment was used from the days of ancient Egypt through the Roman empire, but is not found after this time. The other pigments used in the mural were local and of poor quality. The researchers speculate that the church builders may have found and used a ball of the blue pigment dating from Roman times.