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Restoration of the Panorama of Murten, 1996 – 2002 (2)

Finally, the fact of rolling the hyperboloid canvas onto a wooden cylinder had caused a certain amount of crushing, bunching and folding.

The plans for the Swiss National Exposition Expo.02 provided an opportunity to exhibit the panorama. But first the panorama had to be restored within a limited period of time. One year was available. The costs were borne by the Expo. The contract was taken on by the ad hoc company Panorama Konservierung & Restaurierung GmbH (K & R GmbH) headed by the restorers Volker Schaible and Christoph Zindel, who had also drawn up the restoration and logistics concept, in co-operation with the engineer Heinz Tropper from Emch & Berger.

To this end, the painting was transported to the former premises of the Von Roll factory in Berne’s Länggass Quarter and restored in two phases in its original three sections.

In a first stage, each section of the painting was laid out flat on a curved work platform. The curved surface served to compensate the hyperboloid effect of the canvas. The work was carried out on a moving platform. The deformations were smoothed out from the platform; the painting was then cleaned, and the cracks and surface defects repaired. Strips from a new backing fabric were added to reinforce the upper and lower edges. The sections which were not being worked on were rolled up on new rolls on the sides. These aluminium cylinders were fitted with a thickened felt support at the extremities to compensate the hyperboloid shape.

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