North Carolina Museum of Art to restore statue of Bacchus

Fulfilling a promise made decades ago, the centuries-old statue of Bacchus, currently housed in the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA), will be restored, made possible by a grant from the Bank of America 2017 Art Conservation Project.

The statue was donated in 1958, and the restoration was proposed shortly thereafter. However, NCMA had neither the staff nor a conservation lab to conduct the restoration so Bacchus was put in storage until the museum had the resources to commit to restoration.

The historic work of art is comprised of an ancient torso, a head from a different statue, limbs, hair locks, berries and leaves. The grant will fund the Bacchus Conservation Project, a multi-series venture that includes the completion of the restoration begun 30 years ago and scientific research to understand the sculpture’s history, entailing how Bacchus was put together more than 400 years ago.

I’m very excited that Bank of America is helping us get Bacchus out of limbo! Through their Art Conservation Project, we have been given the opportunity to restore the statue of Bacchus and share its history with generations to come.

Caroline Rocheleau
Curator of Ancient Art, North Carolina Museum of Art

“This is a long overdue project that will rehabilitate the ancient torso as well as the historical fragments that make up this composite statue. The torso is one of five of this type in the world, the only one outside of Europe, and deserves to be on display in the galleries,” said Caroline Rocheleau, Curator of Ancient Art, North Carolina Museum of Art. “I’m very excited that Bank of America is helping us get Bacchus out of limbo! Through their Art Conservation Project, we have been given the opportunity to restore the statue of Bacchus and share its history with generations to come.”

At the conclusion of the conservation phase, the museum will put on an exhibition featuring the ancient head and torso and a full recreation of Bacchus, along with digital experiences so visitors can learn about the conservation project. In addition, it will include interactive programs that will explore how the scientific method is used to solve real-world art challenges.

“We’re excited to select the North Carolina Museum of Art’s innovative restoration work on Bacchus through our Art Conservation Project to help preserve the culturally significant statue,” said Kari Stoltz, Triangle Market President, Bank of America. “This project is unique in that it will help refurbish an ancient treasure and create an exceptional exhibit that crosses artistic and scientific boundaries to inform viewers for years to come.”

1/31/2018

 

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