VOL. 12 May ISSUE YEAR 2011
in Vol. 12 - May Issue - Year 2011
Restoring Historical Buildings and Sites to Their Ancient Glory
Laeiszhalle concert hall, Germany
Ancient buildings, historical sites and monuments are often exposed to atmospheric pollutants, excessive tourism and undesirable human expression such as graffiti.
The National Antigraffiti Association in Italy estimated that graffiti on the streets causes EUR 750 million of damage each year. Clean-up operations in the ancient city of Rome are performed 24 hours a day by a team of 16 working in shifts.
Great care and protective maintenance are required to ensure these great heritage sites are restored and preserved for future generations to come.
One of the most common and effective restoration methods used is natural micro-abrasive cleaning. Years of dirt accumulation, unsightly stains, and deteriorating building finishes such as stucco or paint can be removed without damaging the surface.
In Europe, GMA GarnetTM 200 mesh and a range of fine, natural abrasives are widely used on a wide range of surfaces. The cleaning process is performed without damaging the surface and produces an extremely smooth, uniform finish.
The combination of high mineral purity, grain angularity and consistent sizing ensures high performance precision cleaning without risk of damage from coarse particles. Depending on the job at hand, GMA GarnetTM 350 mesh, 200 mesh or 80 mesh can be selected to provide optimum cleaning rate and surface finish. The high specific gravity and toughness of GMA GarnetTM provides effective cleaning at relatively low air pressure and with minimal particle breakdown.
In summer last year, ornaments and the granite foundation of the Laeiszhalle concert hall were beautifully cleaned via natural abrasive blast cleaning using GMA GarnetTM 80 mesh. Inaugurated in 1908, the Laeiszhalle was the largest and most modern concert hall in Germany in its time. The neo-baroque hall was designed by renowned architects Martin Haller and Erwin Meerwein and till this day, remains one of the most beautiful structures in Europe. The hall has hosted some of the most gifted composers and musicians: namely Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Yehudi Menuhin and Maria Callas. It is estimated that over 400,000 people visit the Laeiszhalle every year.
GMA Garnet in Europe is a partner of Assorestauro in Italy as the abrasive supplier for restoration works for most historical buildings around Verona and Rome and is also a supplier of Ibix – the market leader for surface cleaning and micro-blasting technology in Italy.
Among the notable projects using GMA GarnetTM natural blast cleaning abrasives is the restoration of the Trajan Museum and a few ancient pieces from the Imperial Fora in Rome. Technical experts of the Italian national authority for the supervision of artistic and history heritage gave their full approval to the use of GMA GarnetTM abrasives for the restoration of ancient and historical sites and pieces.
Other restoration works using GMA GarnetTM abrasives are:
Cloistered courts of Carmine Church in Brescia (1300) - cleaning of painted surfaces
Bonafede Palace in Monte San Giusto in Macerata (1400)
Marenzi Palace in Trieste (1700) – cleaning of windows & external elements
Palace in Milan - Via San Sisto 6 (1750) & Via Giacomo Leopardi 21 (1800)