Fra museet / From the museum

The bronze sculptures circling the fountain in the Vigeland Park have over time been exposed to water and various types of contaminations. This has formed irregular, dark crusts on the surface. The crust might contain harmful corrosion and also hides modeling details.

Mechanical removal of corrosion with a scalpel is a traditional, but time consuming method. The Conservation Department at the Vigeland Museum collaborates with external experts to find a sufficient method to remove these corrosion crusts.

The sculpture “Young boy and girl with the heads towards each other” was cleaned with a relatively new method for such projects; blasting with dry ice (frozen CO2). Similar to sand blasting dry ice is blown on the metal surface, but it is gentler and does not leave any extra waste. Blasting with dry ice is preferably conducted in hot and dry weather. Dry ice blasting removed some of the crusts, providing a smoother surface. We also tried blasting with small grains of dried corn. This removed more of the crusts. All blasting were finished during one day.

After blasting, even more of the corrosion was removed by hand with a scalpel. As a final treatment the sculpture was waxed to give protection to the surface.

The project was successful and we hope to use the same methods on the rest of the sculptures circling the fountain.


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