Restoration of Palmyra painting
In the spring of 2019 the View of Palmyra painting was restored live in front of museum visitors. This event was made possible by a crowdfunding campaign by the Amsterdam University Fund, the Friends of the Allard Pierson, and gifts and donations.
Restorer Erick Douwes of Douwes Fine Art worked from 19 March to 19 May on the restoration of the two-metre-wide panorama. Erick carried out the work in front of visitors in a specially designed studio at the Allard Pierson. The painting shows what Palmyra looked like in 1691, and is therefore of great archaeological, cultural and historical importance. That’s because three centuries of research, reconstruction and destruction have changed Palmyra forever.
The first step in the restoration process was the careful removal of surface dirt and part of the yellowed varnish. High-risk cracks were then strengthened and levelled, and unsightly gaps filled. The final step in the restoration process was the application of a retouching and final varnish. The restoration has rendered the details and original tones clearly visible once more: the air has regained its blue colour, and the ruins are clear white again.