Case Studies

Restoring a badly damaged statue of Queen Victoria

Stone statue repair

The Aberdeen Music Hall is currently undergoing a £7m transformation in a bid to bring it back to its former glory as a concert venue of renown. The project, which began in 2016 is heading into its final stages and is due to be unveiled in a grand reopening this month (December 2018). Overseen by Kier construction, the revamp has been an extensive undertaking, and there was one particular element that required specialist input – which is where our unique skill set at Plastic Surgeon came into play.

Key Information

  • Project: Aberdeen Music Hall Refurbishment
  • Client: Kier Construction
  • Repair type: Statue restoration
  • Project time: 1 finisher working across 4 full days

Summary

Overseen by Kier construction, the revamp has been an extensive undertaking, and there was one particular element that required specialist input – which is where our unique skill set at Plastic Surgeon came into play.

In the atrium of the music hall, a large statue of a young Queen Victoria has been in situ for over a hundred years and is very much a prominent focal point for those entering the music hall.

Over the years, it had fallen into considerable disrepair, with the figure missing fingers on the hand that had formerly held a sceptre – an object that was also damaged and had become separated from the statue proper. On top of this, the toes of the statue were heavily marred and needed mending.

To assess the requirements, our Scotland Sales Manager attended the site along with one of Aberdeen based finishers to determine what was needed for the repair. Between them, they used their combined expertise to establish a course of action, with both realising that – thanks to its unusual nature – a new product would be needed to fulfil the job.

In light of this, Plastic Surgeon’s R&D department was tasked with finding the solution, which subsequently saw the development of a new putty that would work as reconstructed fingers on the statue’s hand.

Equipped with this new product, the finisher tasked with the job was able to reshape the hand, allowing it to grip the sceptre once more. With the fingers and toes restructured, the challenge then lay in colour matching the newly revamped components with the existing ones.

Having consulted with Kier, the decision was taken to spruce up the entire statue, which saw our finisher applying an appropriate level of clean and polish to create a uniform appearance.

Results

With the hand and toes remoulded, the sceptre reattached and the rest of the statue properly restored, the overall look was an extremely impressive one.

Multiple Kier agents were working on the site and, as word spread, all were coming out of their way to see the finished article, which garnered blanket praise and general amazement at the quality of the repair.

Interesting facts

  • The statue’s hands were 10 feet off the ground making access to the repair a tricky prospect, with scaffolding subsequently required.
  • An entirely new product was needed to fix it. With Plastic Surgeon’s head of R&D tasked with researching it.
  • The Music Hall was designed by Archibald Simpson – a prominent local architect whose work was renowned for helping to fashion the character of Aberdeen as The Granite City.

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