This lovely Pieta, originally by Meyers of Munich, had last been polychromed in the 1930's (The decorative artist had dated his work to tell us so!)
Now 70 years later, it was due a complete makeover.
The colours of the figure had oxidised, and the base was broken in several places.
The halos had also tarnished and needed attention - the decorative detail on Mary's cloak was generally faded.
The following sequence of Images below show just one aspect of this Pieta's restoration - repairs made to Jesus' left hand.
REPAIRING THE HAND
1. Here is a hairline split in the index finger.
Seems like that wouldn't take much to fix - let's have a closer look at the damage....
unsuitable fillers causing damage
2. I'm not sure this grey putty was available in the 1930's... we encounter it all too often. Its important to remove this " quick fix" repair, as the putty is too dense, and does not marry with the plaster, (C) hence original break remains.
It appears the repairer has not done anything to realign the internal supports, (B) which must have warped when the digit first broke; but quite literally " covered over the cracks".
3. All of the grey filler must be removed or it will weaken any new repairs. The blue circle left shows the extent the unsuitable filler has been used.
Removing it from around the old support irons will allow me to correctly re-align them so the do not protrude.
4. Here is the hand newly repaired, the internal irons corrected and fingers shaped. The area of repair was much larger than first appeared on the surface.
The hand of Jesus has been repainted and the repair complete; below is the finished restoration.
See the finished Pieta restored here