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Thread: The big bird

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    Senior Member GeorgePorgie's Avatar
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    Default The big bird

    Ain't it about time they restored it to its fomer glory?
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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgePorgie View Post
    Ain't it about time they restored it to its fomer glory?
    http://enjoyengland.s3.amazonaws.com...vwdtzmpnub.jpg
    The Old Bird looks "olrite" to me. In fact, that's a great shot of her. She doesn't look in bad shape, maybe a bit stained and tired looking conceivably.

    Now I suppose she ought to be treated and conserved but that probably would mean a color change to black or the original bronze look. Or do we prefer her in her traditional dress of green?

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
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    Senior Member GeorgePorgie's Avatar
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    Allo der Chris.

    This was taken from a Historical Preservation site.....

    COMPLETE CONVERSION OF ALL EXPOSED SURFACES TO THE BRIGHT
    BLUE-GREEN COPPER SULFATE is the final stage of corrosion.
    The result is the familiar solid green bronze with the lime-
    green color and a matte texture. This condition is sometimes
    misperceived as the desirable end condition, but it is
    actually a phase of active corrosion.

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Hello George

    Thanks, George, for that information. Bronze sculptures are regularly conserved around the world. I am sure it has been done with a number of the statues around Liverpool. Here in Baltimore, green statues once treated generally look black, which I suppose has to do with the chemical used to conserve the monument. See here for information on one bronze sculpture conservation expert's site.

    I am surprised nothing appears to have been done to help restore the Liver Birds. As in the statement you posted from the historical preservation site, the green look is actually a state of corrosion, caused by blue-green copper sulfate on account of the big birds being exposed to the elements for decades.

    Why wasn't conservation work done of the Liver Bird figures in time for the 800th Anniversary of Liverpool in 2007 and the city's year as European Capital of Culture in 2008?

    It might seem that an opportunity was missed then. But it's not too late, I think, to do the needed conservation.

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
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    Editor, Loch Raven Review
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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    The Royal Liver Building Liver birds, are made from copper plates [as is The Statue of Liberty] and not bronze, so they will retain that greenish patina that we've all come to love them by. That's not to say that restoration is definitely not needed, it may be required someday?

    Copper has been used as a roofing material for many centuries, given its very stable corrosion properties. And I suspect one of the reasons why it was selected as a cladding material for a statue based at the mouth of a salt-water estuary, both in Liverpool and New York.

    Any other doubts regarding the stability of copper in a semi-marine environment. I only have to point towards the "copper bottomed" solution that mariner's turned to in combating the teredo [or ship] worm, in the 18th & 19th centuries.

    Daz
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."... ... ... Mark Twain.

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Hi Daz

    Thanks for joining the thread.

    I appreciate your point and clarification but a copper coin begins with a lustrous golden-brown finish and if left out in the elements will become green just as the Liver Birds have. I wonder if any thought was given in the 800th anniversary/City of Culture period to treating the Birds? Or if it was decided that the public have become accustomed to seeing them as being green so that's the way they should stay? If so, that was possibly short sighted.

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
    Editor, Ripperologist
    Editor, Loch Raven Review
    http://christophertgeorge.blogspot.com/
    Chris on Flickr and on MySpace

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