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Apr 21, 2014/Stone Care Guides

Some of the World's Most Amazing Stone Restoration Projects

As stone restoration experts, we've all had a project that was large, complicated and messy enough to make us want to pack up our tools and head for the hills. But we also know, that for professionals, it is these jobs that we are most proud of when finished and take our experience as experts to the next level. Since natural stone has been used since ancient times, large-scale stone restoration projects have been undertaken around the world. The following stone care and restoration jobs were of monstrous proportions and required more of the experts than just the right tools, they required guts.

The Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil was built as a symbol of Brazilian Christianity and took more than 9 years to complete. After lightning strikes in 2008 damaged the head, fingers and eyebrows of the statue, the Brazilian government approved a much-needed restoration project, replacing and restoring layers of soapstone and concrete throughout the structure. The soapstone that they used to revitalize the sculpture came from the same Swiss quarry that supplied the original stone in the 1920's. Christ the Redeemer was named to the New Seven Wonders of the World list in 2007.

After first undergoing stone restoration in 1998, the Egyptian Sphynx once again started to experience structural problems with large hunks of stone falling off the ancient wonder on a consistent basis. Apparently, repair mistakes made in the 1920's and the 1980's, using modern cement, continued to generate cracks in the statue's limestone. In 2007 another restoration effort was undertaken after it was shown that nearby sewage water was seeping into the limestone and causing additional damage. After installing pumps and diverting the groundwater the sphinx was once again saved from further deterioration.

Another structure that continues to see deterioration due to modern use is the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. Built in 70 AD, the Colosseum includes such stone as travertine, clay tiles, lime, and Roman cement. Rome's restoration attempt is headed up by shoe mogul Diego Della Valle who invested about $33 million into the project, sparking some controversy. The project was held up in court for three years but was finally initiated in December of 2013. The project is expected to take another three years to complete.

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