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Report - Restoration of the Passe Muraille, Paris Catacombs, July 2012

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Garou Garou, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. Garou Garou

    Garou Garou 28DL Regular User
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    We all know about the Paris Catacombs - they are amazing. If you haven't been, get over to Porte d'Orléans, 14th Arrondissement immediately - I believe it is illegal not to have been at least once in your life.

    Earlier this year, on a trip to the GRS catas, Mr Flay and I came across the famous Passe Muraille; a full-size statue of a man called Dutilleul. He has the handy ability to walk through solid walls. The statue is of him half-emerged through solid rock. It's a great sculpture, but has been vandalised in recent years.

    See this page: http://www.stresscafe.com/translations/pm-final.pdf for the full story of what Dutilleul gets up to with the ability.

    Previous photos show him with his head kicked in and minus both arms. Someone had already repaired one arm and the head, leaving his left arm as a nasty stump.

    Wanting to give something back to the community, we decided that we should give him a new hand and arm on our next trip. And so, given a few months of making plaster moulds and concrete casts of hands and arms, then making them again because they were crap, we finally perfected the art of making casts of body parts. We were ready to go.

    We expected trouble at St Pancras going through security. Not surprisingly, a number of questions were asked about what the 6kg bag of white powder was and why there was a severed hand appearing on the X-ray. We managed to talk our way out of it without losing the precious building materials.

    Once inside the main GRS entrance, the Passe Muraille is just round the corner. Six fun hours were spent on the restoration, first drilling a hole in the limestone with a pathetic hand drill. This was hard work. We screwed the pre-cast left hand to the wall in the appropriate position. A rope was knotted along its length, linking the screws embedded in the hand with the shoulder stump to give it support if the plaster cracked. We then fixed in place a pre-formed cast of Mr Flay's arm, sealing gaps with plaster of Paris soaked bandages. The next stage was to mix up a large amount of plaster of Paris in a bin bag and pour it into the arm mould. This is much harder than it sounds. Given about an hour to set, we then cut off the mould, leaving a fairly rough arm cast. A couple of hours of filling holes and smoothing bumps finished the job off.

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    Thanks to Mr Flay and Silent Motion for your assistance. Apologies to Alex, Fabien and Clement for finishing off the project that you started. Hope you're ok with that.
     
    #1 Garou Garou, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
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  2. passemuraille

    passemuraille 28DL Member
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    Hi! Thank you very much for your work!! I answer very late, i just discover your post.
    This statue is me (or my clone). I did it with some friends in 2003. We already knew that the arm was not strong enough... But you are here!!
    Respect!
     
  3. LaCigale

    LaCigale 28DL Full Member
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    It is just very sad that it didn't last ;(
     
  4. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    The arm was plenty strong enough if it was treated with respect... it was sadly fragile enough to break if someone had the desire to.

    I have to say that statue was one of the best artworks I have seen, you guys have some real skill and I hope the actions of a few dickheads don't deter you from practicing your craft elsewhere!
     
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  5. passemuraille

    passemuraille 28DL Member
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    Is it destroyed now?
     
  6. LaCigale

    LaCigale 28DL Full Member
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    For over 2 years OP's restoration was destroyed... And even more than before. OP and myself and a few others ended up making a completely new one.



    I think you should be able to find a post on here about building that one too.
     
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