Academic thesis

York Rieffel: Inspection, Care and Maintenance as a strategically laid out concept for the Preservation of Monuments with specific reference to the public statues on the street Unter den Linden in Berlin Back
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Abstract: Today, public monuments are not maintained on a regular basis; instead, already damaged or endangered sculptures and statues are restored at great cost, only to be abandoned to their own devices after such restoration measures. In the long term, however, continuous maintenance proves more economical - and more appropriate to the value of the objects as monuments and as art - than extensive, costly restoration measures, which always go along with a loss of substance. Therefore, an integral concept for the handling of monuments always involves minimal procedures performed on the object itself, which guarantee its effective – as far as possible – and thus long-term conservation.
The aim of this thesis is to produce a strategically laid out concept for inspection and maintenance, with specific reference to the public statues on the street Unter den Linden in Berlin. The concept lays claim to a model character for the specialist offices in the federal states, and it can be extended – in principle – to apply to other fields. The thesis is concerned with the tasks and instruments involved in the conservation of monuments, as well as with the art-historical significance of the programme of sculptures Unter den Linden in Berlin. The weathering properties and exposure hazards of bronze and marble artworks exhibited in the open air are described and elucidated. A historical review reveals that the maintenance of public monuments has enjoyed a long tradition, and that today, state conservation of monuments neglects this essential task.
The main part of the Master’s thesis aims to produce a realisable concept of inspection and maintenance for public statues, represented by a five-stage, systematic schedule.
To subsume, it must be said that the monuments face an additional risk due to missing preventative measures. These comprise regular cleaning, the renewal of any protective coatings, fencing-in of the objects, and covering during the winter months. In addition, the restoration work that is being carried out at increasingly short intervals is responsible for considerable losses of substance.
The specialist authorities for the conservation of monuments are in a position to produce, coordinate and supervise a concept for care and maintenance – ideally based on a plan for the overall conservation of monuments. However, it seems that the realisation of long-term, regular maintenance measures does not fail because of the specific task faced, but because of the typical differences in ownership and, above all, competencies within the public administration offices. Basically, the project of a consistent maintenance concept will only be realisable in the long term if adequate budget funds are earmarked as regular payments for the upkeep of monuments.


Keywords: Preventive Conservation, Inspection, Care and Maintenance, Strategy, Sustainability, Monument, Sculpture, Copy and Original, Authenticity
  • academic institution: Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
  • kind of theses:  Masterarbeit
  • main Tutor:  Prof. Uta Hengelhaupt
  • assistant Tutor:  Thoralf Gabsch M.A.
  • date:  2007
  • Language:  German
  • pages:  59
  • pictures:  14
York Rieffel
york.rieffel@[Diesen Teil loeschen]

full-text thesis  academic theses in german
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Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Germany License.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) 10.5165/hawk-hhg/120

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