Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The archangel leaving the Mont-Saint-Michel for a facelift in gold leaf – Le Figaro

The statue of 800 kilos dominating the abbey, historical monument, will be hoisted Thursday, February 25. Specialized restorers Socra company, located in Dordogne, will re-gilding.

The statue of the Archangel who protects the abbey of Mont -Saint-Michel, over 156 meters above sea level, will start Thursday, February 25 by helicopter to the Dordogne where specialized restorers of society Socra the wait. According to experts, they will have to work two months to restore the masterpiece of some eight hundred kilos, designed by Emmanuel Frémiet.

Xavier Bailly, director of historical monument, called for the necessary restoration work: “The archangel needs to be gilded, it has lost its shine. If you look closely, it is on the preparation of the emulsion and more about gilding itself. “

This is not the first time that the Archangel leaves the Mont-Saint-Michel . In 1987, Francois Leotard, Minister of Culture, had wanted the statue to be restored. A first was decided: a spectacular helicopter transfer. Despite a wind of twenty knots (about 40 km / h), this dangerous operation was a success.

In addition to its undeniable beauty and its symbol, the statue of the Archangel Michael has utility. It serves as a lightning rod to the abbey. Before the spin doctors are working on its restoration, the laboratory of historical monuments will try to understand why the gold leaf poor resistance to corrosion and how natural the archangel can continue to play its important role as lightning rod.

the first flight of the archangel Michael in 1987:


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