Opéra Comique regains its original splendour

User menu

PARIS - The Grand Foyer of the Opéra Comique, a remarkable testimony to French 19th Century art and architecture has recovered its original radiance and beauty thanks to a conservation project that has last over a year.
The project, sponsored by the World Monument Fund, was conducted under the direction of National Heritage Sites of France.
Designed by architect Louis Bernier (1845–1919), the current Salle Favart, was inaugurated in 1898. While the building retains its original proportions and historic location from its previous incarnation of 1783, the Opéra Comique became the first European theatre to be fully equipped with electricity, and the most modern safety standards.
During the twentieth century, the Grand Foyer was restored several times and although the building was in stable condition, the interior decorations had suffered damage and tarnishing due to its continue use and from cigarette smoke.
Following a call for bids, the work was carried out under the authority of the Chief Architect of National Heritage Sites in close liaison with the management of the Opéra Comique. Each decorative element was carefully recorded and analysed in order to establish a restoration protocol that would be respectful of the original elements. Painted decorations as well as sculptures were carefully cleaned and important discoveries were made during the conservation operations especially with regard to painting composition. The marble door frames were also cleaned and the gilded decorations temporarily taken down to allow their conservation. Two chandeliers were taken down to be transported to a specialised facility where they were conserved and the electrical elements updated to conform to modern regulations.
For more information about this project visit: http://www.wmf.org/project/op%C3%A9ra-comique