An extra € 150,000 for the restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece9 Nov 2017
The Flemish government has decided to make extra funding available for the restoration of the Ghent Altarpiece. The money is needed to restore the world-famous artwork thoroughly, revealing the Van Eyck brothers’ original layer of paint. This is a welcome boost for the restorers and the city of Ghent in the run-up to Van Eyck Year in 2020.
The Ghent Altarpiece is the world-famous polyptych centred on the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, painted in 1432 by the Van Eyck brothers. The artwork belongs in St Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent, but only part of it has been there for the last few years. The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage began restoring the altarpiece in 2012. This has meant that several panels are always at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, where the restoration is being carried out.
The outer panels were restored first, and it immediately became clear that a thorough treatment would be needed because of the many layers of paint that had been added over the centuries.
The restorers are currently working on the inside panels, and far more thorough restoration than initially expected is also required here. On 9th November, the Flemish government announced that it would be freeing up an extra € 120,000 for the restoration work, and the Baillet Latour Fund will also be providing about € 30,000 more.
This extra funding will allow the second phase of the restoration work to be completed in 2019, just in time for the anniversary year in 2020 that will be devoted entirely to the Van Eycks as Flemish Masters. Everyone can follow the progress of the restoration work at the Museum of Fine Arts.