Transport of a bronze sculpture to Montpellier

19 January 2024
Transport d’une sculpture en bronze au musée des moulages de Montpellier

Transporting a bronze sculpture to the Montpellier Mould Museum

Bovis Fine Art recently played a pivotal role in the restoration project of a bronze sculpture in Montpellier. This artwork, a precious replica of an ancient original, underwent meticulous restoration and enhancement at the Museum of Moulds at the University Paul Valéry in Montpellier, Hérault (34).

Restoration of a public monument in Montpellier

The bronze sculpture, a copy of an ancient original discovered in a shipwreck off Cape Artemision in Greece, was commissioned by the City of Montpellier in 2002. Initially placed in the fountain at the Golden Ratio square in the heart of the Greek district of Antigone, it was inaugurated in 2003 by the Hellenic Republic President Konstantinos Stephanopoulos and the then Mayor Georges Frêche. Unfortunately, the exhibition conditions led to alterations and deteriorations, necessitating restoration.

Custom slatted crate for optimal packaging

Bovis Fine Art’s professional carpentry meticulously ensured the protection of the sculpture by constructing a custom clear-view crate. Tailored for this bronze sculpture weathered by time, this crate offers optimal protection while allowing adequate visibility.

The padded benches covered with Tyvek, expertly chosen state-of-the-art materials, provide secure cushioning, preventing any potential damage during the artwork’s packaging and transport processes.

Thanks to the expertise of our specialized carpentry, every detail of the crate is designed to fit the sculpture perfectly, ensuring ideal protection throughout its journey. This guarantees that the sculpture arrives in optimal condition for its restoration in Arles and subsequent showcasing in Montpellier.

First stage: handling and transport for restoration

The crucial first step of the process involves the removal of the sculpture from the externalized reserves of the city of Montpellier. Bovis Fine Art orchestrates this operation with extreme precision, ensuring compliance with the strictest standards for handling artworks.

Once delicately extracted from its storage location, the sculpture is meticulously placed in its custom clear-view crate using waxed skis. Our team then employs a forklift to handle the crate inside the reserves, up to Bovis Fine Art’s truck. Our handlers carefully load the crate and the artwork, securing them inside the vehicle.

Finally, our drivers proceed with the secure transport to the restoration workshop in Arles, where the expertise of restorers will contribute to the preservation and restoration of this artistic piece.

Second stage: transporting the restored sculpture to the Montpellier Museum

The second stage of the project involves returning the restored artwork to the Museum of Moulds at the University Paul Valéry in Montpellier.

It all begins with the meticulous repackaging of the artwork in its custom clear-view crate within the restoration workshop in Arles. The carefully covered Tyvek benches ensure secure cushioning, acting as an effective barrier against any potential impact during transportation.

Once prepared for the journey, our double-crewed drivers take over, ensuring secure transport to the Museum of Moulds at the University Paul Valéry in Montpellier. Upon arrival, the specialized team proceeds with careful unloading and crate removal, facilitating the transport of the artwork into the museum.

The final stage of this process involves the installation of the sculpture on its pedestal in the heart of the museum. For this delicate handling, our team employs an aluminum gantry, allowing precise positioning of the artwork to the millimeter.

The restoration of this sculpture attests to the City of Montpellier’s commitment to the preservation of its artistic heritage. Now, this magnificent sculpture can be admired by present and future generations of Montpelliérains and art enthusiasts. Bovis Fine Art is proud to contribute to this noble cause.

Manutention d'une sculpture à Montpellier

Learn more about the original artwork, the Artemision God:

The original ancient sculpture known as the Artemision God remains a captivating enigma from ancient Greek times. Discovered in the deep seas off Cape Artemision, this exceptional work stands as a striking example of artistic mastery from the classical era. Representing possibly Poseidon or Zeus, the statue embodies the virtuosity of Greek sculptors in depicting divinity. Dating back to the 6th or 5th century BCE, the Artemision God still bears the marks of time, attesting to its immersion in salty waters for centuries. The dramatic pose, intricate anatomical details, and powerful facial expression make this sculpture a masterpiece of ancient Greek art. Currently exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, this imposing figure continues to inspire art enthusiasts worldwide, serving as an invaluable testimony to the artistic richness of ancient Greece.

Learn more about the Museum of Moulds in Montpellier:

The Museum of Moulds at the University Paul Valéry in Montpellier is a cultural treasure offering a fascinating immersion into the history of art and sculpture. Founded in 1890, this unique museum houses an exceptional collection of faithful casts of artistic masterpieces from various eras and cultures. Nestled in the heart of Montpellier, the museum is renowned for its educational richness and its contribution to the in-depth study of the evolution of artistic styles throughout the centuries. Visitors have the rare opportunity to admire replicas of ancient sculptures, Renaissance masterpieces, and other iconic pieces from art history. The Museum of Moulds stands out for its commitment to the preservation of artistic heritage, positioning itself as a dynamic learning space where the past and present of art converge to inspire and educate art enthusiasts of all backgrounds.