Christopher Columbus, City of Reading, PA

Project Notes:

The Christopher Columbus in the City of Reading was restored for the Knights of Columbus. The Knights of Columbus raised the funds to have their sculpture restored for the anniversary of Columbus discovering the Americas.

The statue and plaques were in server condition. Christopher had numerous stress fractures and was leaching investment casting core. The sculpture had been vandalized with spray paint and deep scratches. The four relief plaques depicting the story of Columbus' voyage were partially missing. Two of the four had been stolen. ART sculpted the two missing plaques from historical photographic documents. The clay relief sculptures were then rubber molded and cast with the lost wax casting process. We designed an interlocking system for the return of the four plaques. The bronze plaques were also welded and the metal finished on the granite pedestal. This system made the bronze plaques impossible to remove and vandal-proof.

The sculpture was opened in the back to remove the retained casting core. We discovered an iron deteriorated armature that was totally powder. Due to the retained casting core and the iron armature, the sculpture was split along the bottom of his robe allowing the bottom cast section to separate from the rest of the sculpture.

The surface of the sculpture was severely corroded to the point that the metal was etched. All fractures were Tig welded and the metal finished to match the surrounding texture. The sculpture received an Igepol treatment to remove the damaging green corrosion, then washed with ionic detergent and water, and then a hot chemical patina was applied.  The entire sculpture received three coats of a hot wax treatment before returning to the City of Reading.

Knights of Columbus