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Iparművészeti Múzeum Talking map

There are innumerable treasures lying in the Museum's stores. Few of them are in a condition to be exhibited without some preparatory work. Museum visitors can have no idea of what some exhibited items looked like when they first arrived in the Museum. Sometimes a thorough cleaning is enough, but more often, even very valuable art works are received in a degraded, fragmented state. Pieces that have survived Mongol, Ottoman, Austrian and Russian invasions or the ravages of fire, water and time, are reborn in the restorers' workshops. Like a magician, the restorer takes things that are incomplete, fraying, broken, smashed or scratched, be they ceramic pots, clothes, furniture, goldsmith's work or little personal objects, and makes them new again. Of course it is not magic, but the fruit of extensive knowledge of materials and technology, artistic humility, and of course much time and patience. In 2008 and 2009, the Museum revealed in an exhibition the things that are usually hidden from museum visitors. Five restoration workshops presented their work under the title "Restored art treasures". The restoration profession also benefited from the exhibition through a DVD on the work of the Museum's restorers, with biographies and extensive photographs of the exhibits, as well as 3D reconstructions of some damaged items from the Esterházy Treasury. Also included is Zoltán Dénes's full-length documentary Műhelytitkok (Workshop secrets), which delves into nooks and crannies of the Museum never seen by visitors. The documentary was shown at the 43rd Hungarian Film Festival in 2012.

The restorers' greatest achievement has been the enormous task of restoring war-damaged pieces from the Esterházy Treasury. This has provided them with work for several decades, and has involved some dazzling items of fine metalware and many textiles. Esterházy pieces currently under restoration include Miklós Oláh's quilt and a 17th century saddle; work on an Esterházy clock has recently been completed, and preparations are in progress for the restoration of many others.

Furniture Collection staff have recently completed the restoration of the unique Bugatti furniture with the involvement of restorers from the Small Collections department.

With the restoration of the Pleyel piano, now complete, the Museum has launched a process through which its musical instruments will be rendered capable of exhibition, and will also be played at musical events in the Museum.

The world famous Arabian Room (c. 1800) has been fully surveyed, and a grant has been received to allow restoration and reconstruction to start in 2010. The furniture will be displayed in a complete interior in the Nagytétény Castle Museum together with the Museum's Middle Eastern carpets and other items. Nagytétény will also accommodate the stoves currently awaiting restoration. Reconstruction of stoves currently lying in pieces in the stores is a job demanding special skills and experience.

Another special project is the Bigot Pavilion, featuring ceramic tiles and structural components from the 1900 Paris World's Fair. The restorers are currently surveying it and planning its reconstruction.

In cases where the Museum lacks a suitably qualified restorer or the Museum lacks the space or the requisite special equipment, the work is done externally. Thus Gyula Jungfer's large-scale drawings and iron ware are being restored in external workshops.

The Museum's greatest and most unique monument is its own building. Restoration of the decorative tiles in the Museum foyer was supervised by the head restorer of the Ceramics Department.

In 2012, the Museum launched a new programme with funding by the National Cultural Fund to restore the severely-degraded original cases of fine metalware of the Esterházy Treasury held in the Museum.


Last modified 2013. June 27. 10:18:45

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