Windsor sculptures get $75,000 cleaning

Thirty-two statues across the city are getting buffed and polished.

Statues across the city are getting buffed and polished.

The cleaning is part of a $75,000 pilot project of the cultural affairs department.

"It is absolutely a lot of money. But this is a significant collection that has a great value," manager of cultural affairs  Cathy Masterson said. "There should be a process in place to have this work done on an annual basis."

The city features 32 large-scale statues. Masterson said dirt has "really been allowed to build up on them."

"They have been cleaned, but they haven’t been hand cleaned. There’s a big difference," Masterson said.

The city says regular maintenance is necessary because of pollution, rain, snow, mist and humidity and ultraviolet rays.

Staff has hosed them down with fresh water in the past. This year four students have been hired this summer to use specialized soaps and waxes on the artwork.

Gyllian Porteous is a chemistry grad student who has been accepted into the Queen's University's master's program of art conservation.

"It's been entirely ideal to work at a job like this," Porteous said. "The area I’m most interested in is artifacts, sculptures and archeological material."

Porteous said the sculptures are dirty, but not overly vandalized.

"There’s a lot of respect for the art in this sculpture park," she said at the Windsor Sculpture Park. 

She feels she has an important job to do.

"It’s all well and good to have this art, commission and buy this art ... but as soon as you get into letting them sit, especially outside, they start to disintegrate," Porteous said. "The faster we clean them, the better it is. If no dirt sits on them for any length of time, the better they will look for everyone."


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