Restorations with a light hand – religious art statues

At the Museum 't Oude Slot, in the Dutch city of Veldhoven, a glass shelf in a display cabinet collapsed, damaging precious statues. The unfortunate event occurred in February of last year, and the museum quickly approached Polygon’s VANWAARDE team to restore the art. With VANWAARDE’s skill in delicate restoration, the objects were given new life.

The objects in question were 35 religious statues and statuettes of varying sizes and conditions. After an event like this, the first step is to secure and transport the delicate art to a facility where the restoration will take place. Only the transport requires careful handling and efficient planning, in order not to accidentally further damage the objects. Another important task is to register the broken off parts and place these fragmental bits in safety for the upcoming restoration. With the help from the museum’s staff, everything was registered, secured and successfully transported to a Polygon facility in Beekbergen.

Restorations with a light hand

At the restoration facility, our skilled restorers examined and assessed the 35 objects and then established a treatment plan with a cost estimate.

After a period of consultation between the museum, loan givers, donors, and the insurance company, Polygon’s VANWAARDE team was given the task of repairing the damage to the objects according to an established treatment plan.

The complex plan, that was individually constructed for each unique object, could be summarised as follows.

  • Surface cleaning
  • Gluing of loose parts
  • Smoothing and filling out gaps
  • Modelling and creating missing parts (hands)
  • Retouching
  • Applying a finishing layer

When the time consuming and delicate restoration of these objects was finished, the statues were returned to the museum, where they are again beautifully displayed in an adapted display structure.

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Before treatment                     After treatment

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