The case for cold: Using dry ice blasting to remove lacquer coating from the King Jagiello monument in Central Park

Matt Reiley


This case study provides an overview of the use of dry ice blasting as a suitable method for Incralac coating removal on a heroicscaled equestrian bronze sculpture as part of the development of a sustainable program of protective coatings maintenance. In 2016, the Central Park Conservancy initiated a conservation project on the King Jagiello monument, which included the use of dry ice blasting to remove a failing coating. Dry ice blasting was selected because it is dry, nondestructive, environmentally conscious, and for its relative speed. The project, and previous methods of Incralac lacquer removal tested at two other bronze monuments provide points of comparison. This case study shares findings from the project’s use of the dry ice blasting system with considerations for use in an outdoor environment and an empirical assessment of results. The rationale for replacing Incralac coating with a protective hot wax coating on King Jagiello is also discussed. 

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2017 | Chicago | Volume 24