Johannes Voldemar Veski, plaster bust restoration

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A day before the Estonian Mother Tongue Day, on the 13th of March, a bust of Johannes Voldemar Veski was presented as a permanent exhibit in the 4th floor lobby of University of Tartu Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics. He was a prominent linguist, who dedicated his life to the development and research of Estonian language.
The life-sized bust was donated to the institute by Tõnis Luik.

The restoration of this statue started in the summer of 2016 and was finished by the beginning of December. Mainly suffering from loss of surface finish and some minor cracks and material loss, the statue was generally stable, but not fit for presentation. The restoration consisted of stabilizing the cracks in the fingers, reconstructing minor lacunae and repainting areas where experiencing whole of the statue suffered due to paint loss. All additions were made with reversibility in mind, with documentation of restored areas archived by the company. The author and date of the work are unknown and research into possible options did not prove without a doubt a definitive author. The base was constructed by TMF Wood, the brass label by Gravex Tartu.


Päev enne emakeelepäeva, 13. märtsil, avati Tartu Ülikooli eesti keele ja üldkeeleteaduse instituudi 4. korruse fuajees teeneka keeleteadlase Johannes Voldemar Veski portreebüst.
Elusuuruses kipsportree annetas instituudile Tõnis Luik.

Restaureerimisse jõudis kuju 2016 aasta juunikuus, mil selle värvikiht oli mitmes kohas kahjustada saanud, esines väikseid mõrasid sõrmedes ja puudus väikseid fragmente sõrmeotstest, alaservast, pintsakureväärist. Tasapisi taastati kuju värvikaod ja viidi see eksponeeritavasse seisukorda. Samuti valmistati TMF Woodi poolt toekas postament ning Gravex Tartu töökojast telliti messingist etikett. Vaatamata konsultatsioonidele ja taustauuringutele ei suudetud kahjuks kahtluseta kindlaks määrata, kas kuju autoriks oli Juhan Paberit, Aleksander Kaasik, Elmar Rebane või keegi neljas.

HK ReSku (OÜ Belify)

Conservation of altar statue in St. Paul church, Tartu, Estonia.

*Update on 11.07.2016:

“I finally completed my MA, and subsequently the practical conservation and theoretical analysis of the altar statue is concluded. The thesis can be found on: Thesis

It was a long road to this point, and I would have hoped to have a complete exhibition of the statue set up by my graduation, but as things lay I doubt it will be completed before the statue’s 100th birthday in 2023. I will however look for opportunities to make it happen, either by donations or some grant project, as it would be a shame to leave things unfinished after years of work.” -HK

Cleaning with distilled water and brushes:

Cleaning of the statue

Overview of cleaned statue before exposition, after cleaning: