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German students begin Bantry House restoration work

August 31st, 2017 11:50 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Bantry House and Gardens.

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BANTRY House has renewed its partnership with the German university of Stuttgart to restore many of its beautiful and historic artefacts.   

Sophie Shelswell-White, the manager of Bantry House, confirmed that Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste (ABK) is the oldest university in Germany to offer exceptional high and academic training in the field of conservation of artefacts.

In March 2016, Professor Volker Schaible, the university director, and Peter Vogel, the head of conservation, came to Bantry to assess the condition of the collection and also of the fabric of the house.  

The first group of third and fourth year students, together with a tutor, came last summer and worked on a painting that was in a serious state of decay.

They also worked on some of the Spanish leather on the doors and the staircases in the house, as well as many picture and mirror frames, and one of two ornamental eagles.

The conservators who returned to Bantry House a couple of weeks ago are currently working on the second eagle and a large screen in the dining room. 

Sophie said regular visitors to Bantry House will also be pleased to know that one of the two stone herons that lost its head has since been ‘put to rights.’

The manager described the co-operative effort with ABK Stuttgart as ‘a wonderful development in the history of Bantry House.’

She said: ‘It is very much in keeping with the vision of Richard White, the second Earl of Bantry, who repeatedly travelled to Europe to make his collection and to bring European cultural goods to West Cork. 

‘Ties that were formed then are being renewed now. And we hope that this is the beginning of a long and successful relationship.’

Bantry House and Gardens are open daily until the end of October.

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