Right in the very heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik is one of the most recognisable monuments, the statue to Orlando, or Orlando’s Column. And this iconic column is currently undergoing restoration works, that’s why it is wrapped and fenced off. It is an extremely complex restoration.
As announced last summer, after conducting field work and holding meetings of the expert team to determine the further approach to the issue of repairing the existing damage to Orlando's column, the employees of the Croatian Restoration Institute began preparatory work for the procedure to release the force in its central spine.
Preparatory works include the installation of a device for monitoring the behaviour of cracks during force release procedures (reduced monitoring) and preventive and safety support of the column.
The effort to release the force of the central mandrel will be carried out gradually, in several stages during the following months, and temporary safety supports and reduced monitoring on Orlando’s column will be maintained during the summer period.
All procedures are being carried out according to the guidelines and conclusions of the expert team for determining the further approach to the problem of repairing the existing damage on Orlando's column. It is one of the most valuable sculptural monuments and key urban and social landmarks of Dubrovnik, which was created by Bonino from Milan with the help of Antun from Dubrovnik according to a contract from 1418. Yes, that column you see whilst walking the historic Old City of Dubrovnik is over 600 years old.
Experts from ICCROM (Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) and representatives and experts of the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, the City of Dubrovnik, the Croatian Restoration Institute, the Institute for the Reconstruction of Dubrovnik and the Faculty of Civil Engineering are all involved in this restoration.
And an expert team considered the results of multi-year monitoring of the state of the structure and determined the dynamics of further conservation and restoration works. It was concluded that the progression of the damage was triggered by the use of different materials and the central mandrel, which was embedded in the core of the post in the last intervention. Crack growth is linear (with an average annual increase of 0.04 mm), and their activity is most pronounced during the summer months.
Based on the interpretation of the results of the conducted research, it was then announced that future interventions will be aimed at the implementation of conservation and restoration activities in situ. The works will include the repair of damage and filling of cracks with the aim of surface stabilization of the stone and protection of the relief.