Restoration of 'the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb' to take five years

7th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage KIK will commence restoration work on the polyptych 'the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb' in the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts MSK early next year. The entire operation will take five years. Flemish Minister of Culture Joke Schauvliege CD&V approved the restoration procedure after receiving a positive recommendation from the Masterpieces Council, which ensures the proper execution of the masterpieces decree, the legal framework for the most important cultural heritage in Flanders. The KIK was the only candidate to submit a tender to restore the 15th century masterwork by Jan and Hubert Van Eyck. This federal institution charged with the study and conservation of cultural heritage has been tasked to remove a layer of varnish from the panel which obscures the work and damages the paint underneath. In addition, they will also restore old retouches and retouch repainted areas where necessary, completing the work with a new layer of varnish. When they submitted their tender, the KIK had to specify the location for their restoration work, as one of the conditions was that all restoration works should be open to the public. As the baptistery in the Ghent Saint-Bavo's Cathedral, where the masterpiece can be viewed, is too small for this operation, the KIK eventually opted for the MSK, which will install a secured restoration studio during the next few months. Here the public will be able to see how each panel is restored by four full-time art restorers. The East Flanders province will elucidate the restoration by means of an educational expo. Two thirds of the work will remain in the Saint-Bavo's Cathedral and the panels that have been removed for restoration will be replaced with photographs. The total cost of the entire restoration work is estimated at 1.4 million euros. The Flemish departments of Culture and Heritage will pay 80% of this amount and the remainder will come from the Saint-Bavo's Cathedral church council.

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