Work on the Reception Room is advancing swiftly! Conservators are now cleaning over a century and a half of grime off the surfaces of the room’s walls and ceilings. Using latex sponges similar to those used to treat fire damage, conservators are able to remove fine, often sticky dust particles without removing the paint itself. For the white and violet painted areas, which can withstand a more vigorous cleaning, durable vinyl erasers are used.
Conservators are also reattaching the gold leaf and gilded elements of the decorative plaster work with a special adhesive, and cleaning painted wood window and door frames with citric acid and a saliva rinse. (Yes saliva, you read it right! It is in fact recognized as a powerful conservation tool.) We are currently waiting on a paint analysis to tell us more about the layers of dirt, pigment, paint and plaster that may not be visible to the naked eye. We will give you frequent updates as this exciting project progresses!