War Memorial, Melbourne

Alabaster war memorial; inside of a church; carved inscription in-painted in black; gilded frond of laurel leaves; bronze dates and cross

Extensive treatment was undertaken in order to bring this war memorial to its original appearance. The cleaning technique was carefully selected as alabaster is a very soft stone and can be damaged by most solvents. After the removal of surface soiling, extensive filling of the damaged surface was undertaken. Where required, the fills were then in-painted to make them blend in with the surrounding surface. The lettering was also in-painted as the original black paint faded from black to grey. A protective layer of wax was then applied to the surface. The bronze sections were cleaned, de-greased and consequently received a layer of a protective tinted wax coating.

Gilded areas that suffered damage were also treated. They were filled in the same manner as stated above. After that a layer of red ochre was applied (as was done originally) and oil gilded afterwards. 23.5 carat gold of the right colour was applied to the surface. The newly gilded sections were then slightly distressed (artificially aged) to make them blend in with the surrounding surface.

Damaged pointing / joints between the war memorial and the surrounding stonework, was also restored. All joints were checked for stability and those sections that were either moving or damaged were carefully raked out and consequently re-pointed using appropriate hydraulic lime mortar mixture.


The Parish Church, Melbourne

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