The restoration of the Stone Fountain in Kutná Hora: An assessment of the contemporary intervention within the context of repairs throughout history

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Authors:

Jakub Ďoubal;

Source:

Studies in Conservation, Routledge, Volume 62, Number 7, p.371-383 (2017)

Abstract:

The Stone Fountain is situated in the historical centre of Kutná Hora, a UNESCO listed town, and one of the most important monuments in Bohemia. The fountain was constructed from 1493 to 1495 and was originally built of biodetritic limestone. During extensive reconstruction in the nineteenth century a substantial part of the ornamentation was replaced with fine-grained sandstone of inferior quality, resulting in a range of problems at a later date. During the twentieth century, the fountain underwent several repairs which failed to halt the process of degradation, and conversely had a negative effect on the condition of the monument. The last restoration intervention, undertaken from 2010 to 2011, resulted after a thorough examination of the monument documenting the damage and establishing the principal causes of the damage. The subsequent conservation, proposed on the basis of the aforementioned examination, revolved around the extensive cement repairs and acrylic coatings covering the surface, causing significant deterioration to the stone underneath. Furthermore, the deep salinity of the masonry and vast diversity of materials had to be addressed, alongside questions concerning the presentation of the architectonic work and options for its preventive conservation. This article includes a description of the adopted concept, applied processes, and an assessment of the interventions after a five-year interval.