The sculptural composition Boy with a swan was a huge challenge for me, but also an opportunity to broaden my knowledge about metal conservation and to acquire entirely new skills in this field. The issues concerning its weakened and partly shattered zinc coat required much patience, inventiveness and courage during the reinforcement of cracks formed due to corrosion and the lapse of time and during the reconnection of parts that were broken or torn away by vandals. In order to rescue its galvanic copper layer, which is very valuable from a technological and historical viewpoint, it was necessary to spend many hours on its careful cleaning, and then on research aimed at preparing an adequate resin composite and a mixture of special metallic paints that I would use for supplementing the composition and coating the whole work with a patina layer once again.
The reconstruction of the head with the swan neck and a fragment of the wing was a test of my sculpting and conservation skills acquired during my studies.
Working on this degree piece was a very difficult experience demanding many sacrifices, but the experience and knowledge gained on this occasion are the compensation and culmination of my years-long efforts to become a metal conservator.
Born 1992. Studies: Faculty of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art (2013–2020). He works in conservation and restoration of works of art and sculpture. He participated in conservation works in the Orthodox Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Lidzbark Warmiński, the tenement house of the Credit Union of the Warsaw Industrialists and the children’s hospital at ul. M. Kopernika in Warsaw. In 2018–2019, he worked as a conservation assistant in the Studio of Metal Conservation at the Royal Castle in Warsaw
supervisor: Dr hab. Wiesław Procyk, Assoc. Prof.
Like Warsaw, Boy with a Swan – the famous sculptural composition known to strollers in the Ogród Saski [Saxon Garden] – has its rich history. Inscribed in the space of the idyllic landscape of the park pond from 1862, it resisted the tragic episodes of warfare and the Warsaw Uprising. It survived to succumb the blind hatred of drunken vandals, who cracked the metal cast into many pieces in the winter of 1986. The details of the anatomy were irretrievably destroyed, and its original proportions became permanently deformed. Saved from being scrapped, the figure of a boy with a swan became the centre of attention of many Warsaw institutions. Plucked from obscurity as the subject matter of Zdzisław Dębski’s diploma work, it was taken to the specialist Studio of Sculptural Technology, Copy and Reconstruction at the Faculty of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Upon completion of treatments, it regained its identity and artistic pedigree. It is a testimony to the high skills and creative inventiveness of the author of the works. Pursuant to a trilateral agreement between the Municipal Cleaning Authority, the Museum of Warsaw and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, the restored sculpture will be kept on display in the museum.