(New York, Tuesday, October 8, 2002)-Sometime between closing time (5:30 p.m.) and 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 6, a 15th-century Venetian marble Adam by Tullio Lombardo fell with its pedestal in the Vélez Blanco Patio at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The 6'3" statue, which has been in the Metropolitan's collection of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts since 1936, was badly damaged. But it is repairable. The Metropolitan will work tirelessly, using its finest experts and the best techniques and technologies, to restore the statue so that it may return to the galleries in the best and most timely manner possible. It is still much too early to determine with any certainty how much, if any, of the damage will be visible after its restoration. Pending closer examination, conservators currently estimate that the restoration will require one to two years.
The Museum is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the reasons for this accident. Preliminary inspection suggests that the wooden pedestal may have suddenly buckled and collapsed on its own. The Museum acted immediately to reinforce the pedestals supporting the other sculptures in the Vélez Blanco Patio, and has launched a comprehensive inspection of all pedestals throughout the Museum.
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