Street art as a part of the museum: Cleaning the mural on the plateau of the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art (MSU)

Author: Helena Bosnić
Mentors: Neva Pološki, MA, Associate Professor; Mirta Pavić, MA

Institution: Department for Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art, University of Zagreb, Academy of Fine Arts (Croatia)
Study programme: Intergrated undergraduate and graduate study of Conservation and Restoration, graduated on 2021
Specialization: Conservation-restoration of paintings

The Mural Open My Eyes That I May See by OKO, painted in 2015 on the west wall of the plateau of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, was vandalized shortly after its creation, and the degrading graffiti was covered with white paint. Such a condition was not acceptable to the artist or the museum users and it was decided to remove the non-original additions. This presentation deals with the problem of graffiti cleaning, an issue that will be more prevalent due to the expansion of contemporary murals in public spaces. Cleaning tests were done on mock-ups that faithfully mimic the original technology of the mural and the overpaint. The selected method was later applied to the wall itself. Gels were selected for the removal of two types of overpaint due to the ability to control factors such as the amount and type of active substance, depth of penetration and time of action. The obtained data was crucial for planning future conservation and restoration works on the museum mural.

Speaker's biography
HELENA BOSNIĆ - Ambitious 5th year student of the integrated undergraduate and graduate study of Conservation and Restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. Involved in a number of extracurricular activities, including numerous art exhibitions one of which resulted in the Rector’s Award. Currently working on a master thesis at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, on the topic of conservation of three different artworks, on paper, canvas, and wall.