Aula

Yet another grant for restoration of the Aula Leopoldinum

The government of Lower Silesia will support financially the reinforcement of the matroneum’s construction by granting the University of Wrocław a subsidy of PLN 100 thousand. This decision was announced by the Marshal of Lower Silesia Voivodeship – Cezary Przybylski.

During the press conference organised in the University of Wrocław on 10 April, Cezary Przybylski confirmed that, as every year, the local government allocated PLN 5 million for the cultural heritage preservation in Lower Silesia. These funds will enable to carry out the restoration work of 146 buildings. The Aula Leopoldinum is one of them. The first phase of the conservation is currently underway. The next stage will cover the restoration of the gallery’s construction. The cost is estimated at about PLN 160 thousand. By the decision of the provincial committee for the cultural heritage preservation, which was responsible for the examination of the applications, the University of Wrocław was granted one of the largest subsidies of PLN 100 thousand.

“The renovation of the gallery is necessary, which is why we are really glad that we have received the subsidy. This stage cannot be divided into smaller phases and spread over time, so the rest of the costs will have to be covered by the University. The restorers have to complete this phase in order to go on to the next stages of work, e.g. the conservation of the upper vault, which the city of Wrocław will fund” – explains dr Łukasz Krzywka, the Rector’s Representative for Cultural Property Preservation. Tadeusz Samborski, a member of the government of Lower Silesia, assured that the University will receive the subsidy and that the employees can start the tender procedures and begin preparations for the renovation. The University is obliged to settle the grand by the end of the year.

“The renovation of the gallery is necessary, which is why we are really glad that we have received the subsidy

“The restorers will focus on the reinforcement of the ceiling beams. It is also necessary to carry out the monolithysation of the binding joist and the wooden beams and repair the parts that require restoration. Moreover, all these elements will be sprayed with fungicides, fumigants and fire retardants. The floorboards will be restored and reinstalled” – explains eng. Anna Pater-Luty from the University of Wrocław’s Investments and Repairs Preparation Department. She adds that a new transparent portable balustrade limiting the access to the window niches and the wooden balustrade, will be installed: “The baroque balustrade, which, since the end of February, has been undergoing restoration, is too short and does not meet the safety requirements.” The restoration work will most likely begin during the summer holidays season, as soon as all the necessary tender procedures are carried out. The renovation should last no longer than three months.

Initially, the total cost of the renovation was estimated at about PLN 8 million but today it is known that it may be slightly higher. The University, granting PLN 1 million, financed the first stage of the project, creating the restoration plan and the execution designs. A very detailed conservation and construction research was carried out in years 2008-2009. It determined precisely the condition of the ceiling, the wall paintings, the stucco, the mouldings, sculptures, historical furnishing, gildings and the woodcarving elements. The system which guarantees the optimal humidity and temperature in the Aula was developed. Such a system would enable to create better conditions for preserving the Aula’s decor.

The cost of the construction work related to the installation of the air conditioning, lighting and utilities comes to PLN 350 thousand. The conservation, restoration and reinforcement of the ceiling above the Aula, carried out in 2015, was financed by the Municipality of Wrocław, which granted the University of Wrocław a subsidy of more than PLN 900 thousand. It was only the beginning of the restoration, but this stage’s completion was crucial for carrying out further renovation work. This independent construction of the ceiling, enabled restorers to eliminate, or at least minimise, the transmission of the loads onto the false barrel vault, which is the frame for the vault paintings. The complex conservation of the art decor is the most expensive and time-consuming task. The cost is estimated at about PLN 5-6 million. For that reason, it was necessary to divide work into smaller phases. The first stage covered the renovation of the dais, which thanks to the Municipality of Wrocław’s subsidy of nearly PLN 1 million, was restored to its former splendour in 2016. At the end of February, restorers began working on the other important element of the Aula – the matroneum. The balustrade was the first part that underwent restoration. It was possible to start this stage of work thanks to prof. Rudolf Lenz’s intercession, which provided the funds from German sponsors. The subsidy of PLN 100 thousand, granted by the Marshal’s Office of Lower Silesia Voivodeship, will cover the costs of two-thirds of the restoration of the matroneum’s construction. About PLN 1 million will be spent on the renovation of the vault paintings and sculptures within the gallery, which will be carried out later this year. The University and the Foundation for UWr still have to look for sponsors who would support financially the conservation of the paintings below the gallery and the complex renovation of the auditorium.

“We still need about PLN 5 million to carry out the complex renovation of the central part of the Aula, which is the auditorium. “

“We still need about PLN 5 million to carry out the complex renovation of the central part of the Aula, which is the auditorium.  Unfortunately, the University is not able to cover all the costs from its own resources and because of that we have to seek financial support from different institutions. In previous years, the city of Wrocław supported the renovation with a subsidy of nearly PLN 2 million. I am really glad that the Marshal’s Office of Lower Silesia Voivodeship also decided to get involved in this project” – said prof. Adam Jezierski, the rector of the University of Wrocław. Marshal Cezary Przybylski assured that next year the University can apply for another grant for carrying out further renovation of the Aula Leopoldinum.

Kamilla Jasińska    

Translated by Justyna Janik (student of English Studies at the University of Wrocław) as part of the translation practice.

Projekt „Zintegrowany Program Rozwoju Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego 2018-2022” współfinansowany ze środków Unii Europejskiej z Europejskiego Funduszu Społecznego

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