Restoration of Diego Rivera's murals is almost complete

According to INBA, around 20% of the murals' surface was damaged after the earthquake of 2017

Restoration of Diego Rivera's murals in Chapingo University is almost complete
“Every architectural element such as the arches and door frames are decorated with grisailles, which complement the overall discourse of the masterpiece,” stated Martínez Bermúdez - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 08/08/2018 17:40 Notimex Mexico City Actualizada 17:42

Restoration works for Diego Rivera’s murals painted between 1923 and 1927 at the Rivera Chapel in the Autonomous University of Chapingo will conclude next October.

The director of the National Center for Conservation and Registry of Movable Artistic Heritage (CENCROPAM), from the National Institute of Fine Arts, Ernesto Martínez, indicated that around 20% of the murals’ surface was slightly damaged after the earthquake of September 19, 2017.

“Some paint chippings were produced in several parts of the mural, there were a couple of new cracks, and previous fissures were reopened. We organized watches as a preventive measure to avoid further chippings, and the fragments that we were able to recover were stored within the premises,” he stated.
 

He explained that the restoration process consists of photographic records, a mechanical cleaning process for dust removal, a general aqueous cleaning method, the stabilization of damaged parts, as well as fixation with a cementitious product.

At a later stage, we will conduct a patching and a chromatic reintegration in all fixed areas so that visitors may have an accurate and continuous perception of the mural.

For the elaboration of the murals, made with the fresco painting technique, Diego Rivera invited several helpers such as Ramón Alva Guadarrama, Máximo Pacheco, and Pablo O’Higgins.

Some of the subjects portrayed are related to the institution’s educational activities, others are related to agrarianism, as well as socialism.

Martínez Bermudes added that the part that was most affected corresponds to the University’s Assembly Hall, where the fertility of the earth and agricultural work are represented.

“Every architectural element such as the arches and door frames are decorated with grisailles, which complement the overall discourse of the masterpiece,” he stated.
 

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