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Museum exterior during restoration

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum Trust2003/2008

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
Mumbai, India

The building required comprehensive restoration, as the external façade as well as the interior walls were highly damaged. Algae were visible in most places of the exterior façade and plant growth had penetrated deep into the building’s core. The building suffered from a history of leakage and had to be secured against the onslaught of monsoons. The plant growth on the external facade had to be removed - a delicate dentistry operation that involved dismantling different parts of the building, numbering each piece, and after removing the plant growth, re-fixing the pieces. The broken terracotta details of the capitals and cornices, and the balustrades were repaired. Mangalore tiles were fixed onto the roof which were not tiled ealier due to the paucity of funds, to strengthen and cool the building. An important intervention was the opening of the clerestory windows which had been cemented up blocking the light and obscuring the beautiful design. A system was devised which allowed ventilation and light but prevented access for pigeons which were a major menace for the Museum. It was not easy to ascertain the original colours of the Museum as the chemical constituents in the paint could have changed the colour over the years. In the end, 'Celadon Green' was decided upon, a colour widely used in the 19th century buildings around the world. The decision was later confirmed by the restorers at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Henry Cole, the architect of the Great Exhibition of 1851, and the first director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, considered the colour to be the most appropriate colour for the contemplation of art objects.

Details

  • Title: Museum exterior during restoration
  • Creator: Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum Trust
  • Date: 2003/2008

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