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Subject: Sculpture


From: Chris Cleere <c.cleere>
Date: Monday, July 16, 2007
This is posted on behalf of Liliya Onyshchenko, head of the
Department for the Protection of the Historic Environment of the
Lviv City Council.

The office of the mayor of the historic city of Lviv in Western
Ukraine has initiated a conservation program aimed at preserving the
statuary and architectural adornment of the buildings that comprise
the historic city centre, a designated UNESCO world heritage site.
The majority of the objects concerned are constructed of a cement
based artificial stone material reinforced where extra structural
support is required with wrought iron armatures. The majority of the
artificial stone objects date from the late 19th and early 20th
century and are of exceptional quality, both in artistic composition
and attention to detail during the manufacturing process.

After approximately 100 years the statuary and architectural detail
is now deteriorating to a point where some objects are becoming
structurally unsound and liable to collapse. The cement material
appears to be sound but is starting to fragment, especially in areas
of small cross section where stresses are concentrated

In order to preserve the material correctly and in accordance with
international charters of heritage protection, before beginning
conservation treatments advice has been sort from conservation
consultants both from Ukraine and Internationally. The consultation
has lead to two contradictory viewpoints and it is hoped that by
opening the discussion to the wider conservation profession a
consensus of opinion can be reached.

In order to better demonstrate the problems occurring images of a
pair of sculpted knights that have been identified as being in
critical condition have been posted on <URL:>
(Search for "Lviv Conservation").

The two viewpoints expressed result in the following conservation
proposals for the figures of the knights.

    1.  The fragmentation of the statues results from downward
        pressure and the resultant loss of material has lead to the
        exposure of the iron armature, which has subsequently
        corroded. Painting of the armature with corrosion inhibitors
        will halt further corrosion. The missing areas can then be
        filled with a cement based material and the whole statue
        coated with an impermeable layer to prevent water ingress
        and problems of freeze/thaw cycling. The statues should not
        be removed from the building as to do so would be an
        unacceptable risk. The work to both the statues and the
        plinths on which they stand should therefore be carried out
        in situ.

    2.  The loss of original material results from pressure
        resulting from an increase in size of the iron armature as a
        result of corrosion. The application of corrosion inhibitors
        cannot guarantee to halt continued corrosion so therefore
        the armature should be removed and replaced with an inert
        material (Stainless Steel, Carbon Fibre). The statues, which
        are only tethered to the building, should be removed to a
        conservation workshop where the armature can be replaced and
        the statues can be accessed in the round to undertake the
        conservation treatment. Lost fragments should be replaced as
        removable identifiable fragments and not just filled.

With limited funds available and a great deal of material to
preserve it is imperative that the conservation treatments adopted
and implemented in Lviv produce long term solutions to the
underlying problems and do more than just offer short term
"cosmetic" fixes, even if initially they require a larger investment
of time and resources. We very much hope that the international
conservation community can help us with this problem.

Chris Cleere
Object and Site Conservation Consultant
Flat A
131 Malden Road
London NW5 4HS
United Kingdom
Kucuk Eser ve Arkeolojik Sit Alanlari Konservasyonu Danismani
Eskicesme Mah.
Cobanyildizi Sok.
No: 34/5 Bodrum Mugla

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:17
                  Distributed: Saturday, July 21, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-21-17-020
Received on Monday, 16 July, 2007

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