The monument, in the Victorian Town Cemetery of Brussels in Evere, was designed and made by Comté Jacques de Lalaing and unveiled in 1890. By the 1990’s the Monument was in a sorry state and conservators were called in to recommend treatment. Their findings were that its decline was imminently terminal and that it’s rescue demanded the expensive process of complete dismantling and reconstruction around a new stainless steel support.
We were called in to comment, but concluded that the risk of collapse had been overstated. We went on to systematically log and record the damage, monitor it over the following two years and commission a structural analysis. This period of observation and research allowed us to establish that the sculpture was, for the most part, inherently stable, that the rate of decay had slowed and extensive structural intervention was unnecessary.
The treatment carried out by the Hall Conservation Ltd team consisted of the complete removal of all the old repairs, limited dismantling, extensive remodelling, re-fixing sections in the original positions and replicating the elegant design of the original trident. The contract length was defined by critical dates in the calendar of the Cemetery and the entire conservation treatment was successfully completed in only eight weeks. Through considered preliminary analysis, which proved that radical intervention would have been an overreaction, precise logistical planning and by establishing a local maintenance team, the client has been saved considerable costs.