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Event Conservation project for the Winged Victory of Samothrace
and the monumental staircase
Conservation & Restoration
La Victoire de Samothrace
vers 190 avant J.-C.
Ile de Samothrace (île du Nord de l'Egée),
© 2008 Musée du Louvre / Cécile Dégremont
The conservation treatment of the Winged Victory of Samothrace and its monumental staircase is supported by Nippon Television Holdings, main sponsor, F. Marc Ladreit of Lacharrière (Fimalac), long-standing sponsor of the Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project.
The Louvre would like to thank for their support to the campaign the Terre de Cultures Endowment Fund, Koba Films, Laboratory Mayoly Spindler, Paris on the Way, the Hellenic Cultural Center, the relatives of Lewis Childs, Philippe Forestier, Jean-Marie Lecomte and the 6,700 individual donors. The museum also thanks the Société des Amis du Louvre for its participation to the campaign.
Conservation treatment for the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Daru staircase has begun on September 3, 2013. The project is expected to take more than 18 months to complete and will involve a certain reorganization. The Victory will be unavailable for viewing until Summer 2014.
This monument, found on the island of Samothrace in the 19th century, represents the messenger goddess Victory landing on the prow of a ship. Considered a masterpiece of Greek sculpture, it dates probably from the 2nd century BC.
The purpose of the conservation project is to clean the monument, which is made of different kinds of marble. Once the statue has been removed from its boat-shaped base, the 23 blocks that form the boat and pedestal will be dismantled for cleaning; the assembly of the component parts will be verified and previously unused surviving fragments will be incorporated. The cement block currently placed between the statue and the boat will no longer be used, as we now know that there is no scientific justification for its presence.
To find out more about the condition of the monument, a series of analyses will be conducted by the Center for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France (C2RMF). The whole project will be carried out under the watchful eye of a committee of international experts.
Alongside this conservation treatment, the Daru staircase, which provides the perfect setting for the Winged Victory of Samothrace, will have its walls, floors, vaulted ceilings and railings refurbished.
The overall operation is carried out in several stages: the dismantling and removal of the monument has begun in September 2013. The Winged Victory is expected to be back in place in the summer of 2014. The inauguration of the renovated monument and its staircase is scheduled for spring 2015, when the cleaning of the staircase should be complete. The Winged Victory will then be showcased to its best advantage.
Curator(s): Jean-Luc Martinez, director of the Louvre, Marianne Hamiaux and Ludovic Laugier, researchers, Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities.
Conservation under the direction of Daniel Ibled.
Renovation of the Daru staircase under the direction of Michel Goutal, chief architect of Historic Monuments, in collaboration with the Louvre’s Architectural, Museographic and Technical Department.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace will not be available for viewing until Summer 2014.
This masterpiece of Greek sculpture (2nd century BC) is currently undergoing conservation treatment.
The Daru staircase will be under renovation until 2015.