Henry Moore sculpture conservation FAQs

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Here are some frequently asked questions about the conservation of Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture ‘Knife Edge Two Piece’ (1962-5).

Why does the work need conservation?

The work was sited on Abingdon Street Garden in 1967 and there is no record of maintenance having ever taken place. This neglect has resulted in the protective lacquer degrading and exposing the surface of the sculpture to the elements. This has caused oxidation of the bronze metal to occur.

The patination has deteriorated and is no longer as Henry Moore intended, while years of graffiti scratched into the surface has resulted in further corrosion.

Who is doing the conservation?

Rupert Harris Conservation was appointed after an open and competitive tender process to carry out the conservation works on Knife Edge Two Piece (1962-65).

The firm was established in 1982 and work to the conservation principal of safeguarding cultural property for future generations by preventing deterioration with the most minimal intervention possible.

They will work in consultation with The Henry Moore Foundation.

Where will the work take place?

The conservation will be done in situ. A secure workspace will be erected around the sculpture.

What is the timescale of the project?

The conservation project will begin on 16 February 2013 and will carry on for eight weeks.

How much does the project cost?

The cost of conservation is £16,190.00 a modest proportion of the value of similar Henry Moore sculptures. The cost of a health and safety compliant work site is £15,855.00. A grant of £11,000.00 has been received from The Henry Moore Foundation to support the conservation, and the remainder will be paid from existing Parliamentary budgets.

Will measures be taken to reduce the risks of future damage?

Following the conservation project, the sculpture will receive regular maintenance, re-waxing and prompt graffiti removal.