New Museum Berlin – Conservation-Restoration of Ceiling Wallpapers

New Museum Berlin – Conservation-Restoration of Ceiling Wallpapers

Reconstruction and conservation of the Neues Museum Berlin, conservation-restoration of the ceiling and architrave wallpapers from the Mythological Room

The original ceiling and architrave wallpapers in the Neues Museum’s Mythological Room arose in 1852 from a design by Richard Lepsius. The images originally depicted the exhibits from ancient Egyptian burial chambers that were displayed in the room, and, alongside other interior decorations, were intended to convey an ornamental sense of one of these tombs.

nmu_tapete_teaserOwing to vital structural work on the ceiling beams, the wallpaper, already beginning to come off, was taken down and stored. It was in dire need of preservation; both paper and paint layer had been struck by damp and mould. The conspicuous evenly distributed gaps in the wallpaper today are due to the installation of a suspended ceiling in 1936.

Cleaning the removed wallpaper pieces, treating them with biocides, and finding a means of ensuring the under and outer paint layers were stabilised and affixed to the paper, all took place in the workshop of RAO using low pressure tables. For re-hanging the wallpaper pieces, the backings were coated with a reinforced protective laminate and glued directly to the ceiling plaster with a special paste. Gaps in the wallpaper were filled with monochrome (light blue) paper inlays and colour-matched to their respective surroundings by brush retouching.

Client

Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung Berlin

Stiftung Museen zu Berlin Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Period

2007 – 2009

Publication
Thomas Lucker, Decken- und Architravtapeten im Mythologischen Saal, in: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin [Hrsg.], et al.: Das Neue Museum Berlin – Konservieren, Restaurieren, Weiterbauen im Welterbe. Leipzig: Seemann, 2009

Jörg Breitenfeldt, Anette Schulz, Tina Gramsdorff. Gräbersaal und Mythologischer Saal, in: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin [Hrsg.], et al.: Das Neue Museum Berlin – Konservieren, Restaurieren, Weiterbauen im Welterbe. Leipzig: Seemann, 2009