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Rubens painting successfully moved to IRPA

On Wednesday 7 September 2022, the painting "Virgin and Child surrounded by saints" by Pieter Paul Rubens was successfully transported to the Institute. An interdisciplinary conservation-restoration project will now begin at the Institute.

On Wednesday 7 September 2022, the painting "Virgin and Child surrounded by saints" by Pieter Paul Rubens was successfully transported to the Institute. An interdisciplinary conservation project will now begin. The painting has been in the funeral chapel of the master in the church of St. James in Antwerp for almost four hundred years. The removal of the painting was an extremely delicate operation. Thanks to thorough preparation, the operation was carried out successfully. For safety reasons, this was not announced in advance.

Rubens' masterpiece was placed in a special quarantine room at KIK-IRPA. In October, the painting will be examined in greater detail and the entire work of art will be extensively documented. It is only then that a decision can be made on conservation-restoration treatment.

A copy by Jean Delin, more than two hundred years old, was placed in the altar. This painting had already taken the place of the original by Rubens, which was kept elsewhere in Antwerp, for 12 years at the beginning of the 19th century.

Thanks to all the organisations involved for their excellent collaboration: the Sint-Jakob factory in Antwerp, AG Vespa, Steenmeijer architects, Topstukkenraad, Agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed, Mobull. The interior of the Rubens Chapel won the Heritage Challenge, an initiative of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage and the National Lottery. The interdisciplinary conservation-restoration project for the painting is being carried out with the support of the Bernard, Gonda and Emily Vergnes Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation.

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