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Date completed : 11 November 2018 Duration : 3 Months
Graciela Ainsworth

Numerous trials and tests were undertaken in order to ascertain the optimum and most appropriate methods for the proposed conservation of the six Muses: the cleaning, consolidation, grouting and pinning of the plaster/lime mortar and brick; and trials to determine the extent of corroding metal within the sculptures by digital X-ray, which would then aid the subsequent treatment method of the metal with Cathodic process.

The programme of works commenced with the X Rays and the photographic documentation. Then the all surfaces were dry cleaned to the Muse and plinth with soft brushes and vacuum. This enabled us to understand the actual condition of the entire sculpture.

At this stage, all the loose sections were carefully lifted from their precarious positions and each section was surface-cleaned back and front and re-attached. 

The areas of lime mortar/plaster that were disaggregated were then consolidated.Specific areas were then grouted and documented in the associated diagrams.Open vulnerable areas were then filled with  lime based mortar.The condition of the substrate was hidden within the lime plaster, and the damage found there was as expected due to the corroding internal armatures. This was the reason for the crucial metal treatment works.

The treatment for the corroding metal armatures could not be completed until the sculptures was deemed relatively sound.The treatment of the wrought iron armature and visible spars set directly into the masonry was completed using Cathodic procedures and materials.

Exterior view of Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland with sculpture in the foreground
During Conservation of Stucco Muses Seaton Delaval Hall
X Ray of Stucco Muse 'Painting' Seaton Delaval Hall
Stucco Muses Cathodic work diagram Seaton Delaval Hall
Before conservation of Stucco Muses 'Architecture' Seaton Delaval
Before conservation detail of 'Architecture' Stucco Muses Seaton Delaval Hall
After Conservation of stucco Muses, Seaton Delaval, NT
After Conservation detail of stucco Muses, Seaton Delaval, NT
Detail After Conservation of stucco Muses, Seaton Delaval, NT
After Conservation of stucco Muses, Seaton Delaval, NT

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