Thursday, May 27, 2010

In Cleveland, a Frenzy to Prepare Antiquities

The museum is in the midst of one of the most ambitious reconstruction programs of any art institution in the country, a project of $ 350,000,000 expected to be completed in 2013. Along the corridors, workers with trucks and moving blankets transported improbable sets of valuable works of storage and preservation of the rooms as the museum prepares for its reopening next month of antique galleries, as well as those dedicated to the Byzantine and medieval works, all of which have been closed for five years.

On a recent day at the Cleveland Museum of Art here, a heroic-size bronze of Apollo believes that the work of Praxiteles, among the greatest sculptors of ancient Greece, was awaiting technical care in the conservation laboratory , large white stone eyes making it look vaguely impatient.

It is a company whose complexity - and importance to patrons of classical art and ancient - is perhaps only comparable to the reopening of the Getty Villa near Los Angeles in 2006 and the renovation of the Greek and Roman Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum Art a year later.

The museum built its collection to the early 20th century, when wealthy industrialists conservatives gave wide latitude in the art market. As Cleveland's fortunes declined along with those of other rust belt cities, the museum began to play an even greater role as a cultural center of the city.

They will be linked by a glass atrium with a height, flanked by the new wedge-shaped wings, one of which opened two years ago. The original neoclassical building was restored to the studs, ridding it of dropped ceilings and once again open spaces high, full of light. With the reopening of the galleries of antiquities in June, three quarters of the building will again be used to display art.


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