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Thursday, June 1 • 11:30am - 12:00pm
(Objects) The Case for Cold: Using dry ice blasting to remove lacquer coating from the King Jagiello monument in Central Park.

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Created for the Polish Pavilion of the 1939 World's Fair, Stanislaw K. Ostrowski's "Polish King” has resided in Central Park since 1945. Treated in 1986 under the auspices of the Central Park Conservancy (CPC), the bronze was coated with Incralac, an acrylic lacquer, to protect and preserve it. In the 80's and 90's Incralac coatings had been used on over half of the Park's bronze monuments. The coatings have surpassed their performance life and have become cross-linked and difficult to remove. While the bronzes have maintained a tolerably good appearance, the coatings tend to obscure the surface condition and sculptural detail. In 2012, CPC devised a multi-year plan to remove all the Incralac coatings. A range of methods for the removal and the application of various coatings have been explored. The Incralac removal methods used include chemical stripping, laser ablation and most recently, dry ice blasting. The removal results inform an ongoing evaluation of the optimal means for a sustainable, cyclical coatings maintenance regime on a case-by-case basis. While each method exhibits its benefits and detractors, dry ice has some advantages that were found particularly promising in an urban park setting. Mock up tests on the Polish King fulfilled several important criteria such as rapid, non-abrasive removal of the coating without generating untenable volumes of contaminated media. This paper presentation will compare each of the Incralac removal methods with Central Park's collection as case studies, discuss dry ice blasting operations and a summarize details of an ongoing testing regime of traditional, as well as advanced corrosion inhibiting coatings and their removal and maintenance.

avatar for Matt Reiley

Matt Reiley

Associate Director of Conservation/Lead Conservator, Central Park Conservancy
Matt Reiley of New York City is Associate Director of Conservation/Senior Conservator for the Central Park Conservancy, where he and his team are responsible for the stewardship of the Park’s historic built environment. Since 2003, Reiley has played a key role in projects including... Read More →

Thursday June 1, 2017 11:30am - 12:00pm CDT
Crystal Ballroom B Lobby Level, West Tower