Cleaning sculptures

Images of stone and plaster are not really “cleanable”. Loose dirt and dust can be cleaned with the museum vacuum cleaner, but the “patina” of time (retracted dirt / yellowish or gray color) remains visible. Bronze and metal sculptures can be cleaned (carefully), but only as far as this is really necessary.

Oxidation of the copper – before restoration

Copper with relief – after restoration

Special methods

In some cases, the application of a Ph-neutral wax layer is recommended. This as a protective layer of a metal or bronze image. For a real “dirty spot” in a stone image we can sometimes do something by means of the application of (special) white wet clay. When dried, “clay” (through the capillary function) clicks up the dirt and the polluted clay is brushed off. But the cleaning effect is limited.


 Picard Restoration Studio is a member of the Association of Restorers in the Netherlands