Sculpture relocation in Gothenburg
The sculpture hall at the Gothenburg Museum of Art underwent an extensive transformation when works from this massive hall were rehung and 23 sculptures were moved in a week.
The new installation of the museum’s sculpture hall involved removing 23 sculptures by artists such as Carl Milles, Bror Hjort, Willy Örskov, Pål Svensson, Lenke Rothman, Torsten Renqvist and Gerhard Henning.
Several of these sculptures are made of fragile materials, they are heavy and very large.
“Thanks to good planning, MTAB carried out the move in just one week, so museum activities could go on as normal” says Malin Borin, curator.
One of the major challenges was the dismantling and relocation of Carl Milles’ Indian Head, a cubic-metre-sized face made of Mexican onyx, sculpted in three blocks. During previous moves, the three parts had sustained damage along the vulnerable edges.
“Four of us from MTAB moved the sculptures in a week” says Mattias Amundin, packing technology manager at MTAB.
“The Indian Head took the longest as it weighs over 3.5 tonnes. We tried separating the blocks with wooden wedges of various hardness, tapping our way around for 20 minutes before they came loose. Then we attached ratchet straps and placed blankets between the blocks, and were able to lift them individually.”
“With the right equipment, good load relief and good padding, the move could be carried out safely, in consultation with the museum’s stone curators. The entire move was carried out with great professionalism, and the handling was characterised by a high degree of experience in dealing with art” says Malin Borin.
The museum is home to 70 000 works, and there was a major need to display different artefacts from the collections, and also to update the exhibition with contemporary works. This change has also been received extremely positively by visitors.