Conservation of the Spirit of Gaiety

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Made in 1904 by Hibbert C. Binney, the magnificent trumpet-playing angel statue, known as the Spirit of Gaiety, once stood atop the Gaiety Theatre in London’s west-end, at the junction of Aldwych and the Strand. Years of exposure to rainwater had left her internal framework heavily corroded and woodwork weakened – urgent structural work was required to prevent her collapse. Follow Zoe Allen, Head of the Furniture Conservation Studio at the V&A, as she leads an extensive treatment programme to restore Gaiety, replacing the statue’s internal structure, strengthening rotten woodwork and reinstating her brilliant gilded surface.

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