The City Council has entrusted the task to the same restorer who removed the mosaic 20 years ago and prepared it for storage and subsequent recovery.
Historical Heritage restores the mural by Gastón Castelló that was for decades in the Mercat
The missing tesserae will be manufactured and the set will be laid out in plates so that it is easy to move and place.
The Benidorm City Council is going to restore the mural by the artist Gastón Castelló that for several decades shone in the municipal market, with a view to "recovering this heritage asset and that it can once again be admired by citizens in a public space", as explained by the Mayor of Historical and Cultural Heritage, Ana Pellicer.
The mural, about 15 square meters and with a maritime theme, was removed from the Mercat in 2003 before the remodelling of the supply facilities began. Since then it has been stored in the Municipal Archives in optimal conditions. Until yesterday, Tuesday, when the mosaic left these rooms to be transferred to a workshop in Elche where it will be restored.
Pellicer has detailed that Rafael Ramos will be in charge of this restoration and has clarified that "the entire process, including the transport and the manufacture of plates on which it will be disposed of once recovered, will involve an investment of 14,701.50 euros". The restoration is expected to be completed in three to four months.
The head of Historical Heritage has indicated that the Department has chosen Rafael Ramos because "he has a long history and is a highly recognized professional in the field of mosaic restoration, having passed through his hands' compositions over 2,000 years old from the Roman site of La Alcudia in Elche”. In addition, Pellicer has highlighted, “Ramos is very familiar with our mural by Gastón Castelló, since it was he who removed it in 2001 and prepared it for storage and conservation; a process that he documented and that is now going to greatly facilitate the entire restoration process.”
Thus, 20 years ago the extraction was done in sections, placing the outer face of the tesserae on a cloth, in such a way that they were protected from the possible inclemency of the passage of time and the rear part was visible.
Pellicer has specified that “also now the entire process of restoration, preparation of the plates and the placement of the mural on them is going to be documented with the intention that tomorrow, even in several decades, anyone can consult how it was done and have valuable information on the recovery of the mural and the techniques used”.
The mayor has stressed that "the arrangement on plates will make it easier for the mural to be assembled and disassembled simply, something absolutely practical in case of having to clean the surface on which it is installed or having to move the mosaic from its location ”.
The mosaics by Gastón Castelló in Benidorm
The mural to be restored has a maritime theme and refers to the past and the link between Benidorm and the sea and its arts. Thus, the composition shows two people working with nets in front of various fishing boats, in one which a third character performs fine-tuning tasks. This episode takes place in the port, with the tip of Canfali and the old town of Benidorm at one end and the island at the other.
This mosaic is not the only one by Gastón Castelló in Benidorm, since the city also has another mural entitled 'The Arts', originally installed in the Almacenes Zaragoza on Calle Tomás Ortuño, among his heritage. This piece, which was ceded to the City Council, has been located since 2001 in the entrance hall of the Central Library.
The restoration process of the work by Gastón Castelló first involves the mechanical and vacuum cleaning of the remains lodged between the tesserae and the fabric, placing the detached tesserae on top of these. Likewise, the tesserae that were already missing when the mural was removed from the Mercat will be manufactured, using the same or similar materials and rectifying colours and textures so that they are like the originals.
Subsequently, six honeycomb plates will be made to measure, on which the mosaic will rest; a resource that will facilitate transportation and placement. These plates will be glued on the back of the mosaic to be able to turn it over and remove the protective fabric that was placed during the extraction two decades ago.
Once the fabric is removed, the tesserae will be mechanically and chemically cleaned.
The City Council will receive the mosaic divided into six plates and an assembly plan.