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Chain Bridge lions to be back in place by the autumn


  • We Love Budapest

08/04/2022 8.11pm

The final touches are being made by the restorers on the stone lions decorating the Pest bridgehead of the Chain Bridge. A medical laser is being used to remove the most stubborn dirt, then the statues weighing more than ten tonnes can return to their rightful place in the autumn, refreshed and ready to shine.

The restoration of the Chain Bridge lions will soon be completed. The specialists in the workshop in Újpest have repaired the defects with special stone-supplementing mortar, and re-used or rebuilt the worn or broken teeth using carbon-fibre needles. The separate, larger pieces will be added to the sculptures later at the bridge.

Photo: BKK

The restorers only replaced parts that could be proven to exist before. So no tooth was built in that was not originally part of the statue. It was also part of the concept that not all traces of time have been removed from the surface of the lions.

For example, the tiny pits that have naturally formed on the surface of the limestone over the past 170 years have been retained. After the repairs and replacements were carried out, the specialists used the same tools to create the structure of the original surface.

Photo: MTI - Kovács Tamás

The limestone sculptures in Sóskút were carved from several blocks of stone, a lion consisting of three parts. The Pest lions, cut into pieces, were transported from their bridgehead posts in August 2021, the Buda ones in September. The stone elements were lifted off their three-meter granite slabs one by one with a tower crane.

Photo: MTI - Kovács Tamás

By the time the road is completed, the lions will also return to the Chain Bridge. The sculptures will be lifted back onto their pedestals in the same three parts, and then there, in the work area, they are fitted and glued together with a mixture of sand and a certain binder. As a final step, restorers will provide the lions with a final surface protection that delays the re-emergence of dirt on their surface.

Photo: BKK

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