News | Published: Fri 16 Aug 2013

Building Works

A number of important building projects at the Museum are now underway.

Scaffolding has been assembled around the Portico of the Museum to facilitate restoration of the Museum’s magnificent portico, designed by architect George Basevi in 1835. Work includes repairs to the roof, which was letting in water, damaging the plasterwork ceiling of the portico and causing some of the iron fixings supporting the giant lotuses to rust, leaving them in danger of falling down. The ceiling will be fully restored, including the superb frieze which runs around it, with its sculptures of wild animals, boys and dogs emerging from stylised foliage.

In addition, the lighting will be improved, the steps will be equipped with handrails, and the extraordinary cast-iron gates and spiked railings will be repainted in their original livery of bronze, silver and gold.

Meanwhile, inside the building, work is being carried out to improve the climate control system in the Dutch Gallery and the Charrington Print Room. This will ensure that the collections continue to be housed in the best possible conditions, in the most environmentally sensitive and sustainable way. As part of the work, the Dutch Gallery will be re-lit and re-decorated, and all the antiquated heating and air handling systems will be replaced with state-of-the-art equipment.

We are very grateful to the University of Cambridge for funding these projects, which are expected to be complete by Spring 2014, and we thank you for your patience and understanding. In the meantime, the Museum remains open as usual.

Please keep visiting our website for further updates.

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360 view of the Fitzwilliam Museum portico

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