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Wellington Arch undergoes a makeover
Set in the heart of Royal London, Wellington Arch was built as an original entrance to Buckingham Palace, later becoming a victory arch proclaiming Wellington's defeat of Napoleon.
And if you've been wondering what's going on under the scaffolding that's been erected around it recently, there's another type of battle underway, as cleaning and conservation work is carried out on the 104 year old sculpture of the 'Angel of Peace descending on the Quadriga.'
Added to the top of Wellington Arch 1912, it depicts four horses representing the forces of chaos and war being calmed by the Angel of Peace, and is Europe's largest bronze sculpture.
Over the last century, weather, air pollution and bird droppings have taken their toll on the masterpiece. Conservators have cleaned the sculpture of years of dirt, grease and grime, as well as treating corrosion, flaws, cracks and rain damage. The next phase of the project is to apply several coats of clear wax to protect the sculpture in the future.
"We're giving one of London's most dramatic sculptures the tender loving care it deserves," reports Kate Mavor, English Heritage's chief executive. "Our conservation work will mean that people can enjoy this great work of art for years to come."
The arch has been under English Heritage's care since 1999. The conservation of the Quadriga sculpture is the first project in the 'Making England Shine' programme which is supported by Cif and will help to conserve and restore historic places to their former glory.
Olivier Juglair, Cif global head of marketing says: "Cif's social purpose is to restore the beauty of the man-made world. When things are cleaned to reveal their original beauty, they have a positive impact on the people around them; so we're always looking for people and organisations that share our values to help us do it.
"Like Cif, English Heritage is restoring the nation's most-loved buildings and landmarks for us all to enjoy!"
Throughout the course of these works the Arch will be open to visitors as normal, though at some points during the construction and deconstruction of the scaffolding the teams may need to temporally close the viewing balconies.
14th April 2016