RA250 stories: putting Hercules back together again

Behind the scenes

Published 27 February 2018

How do you take decades of dirt off a sculpture without damaging its original surface, or reassemble and attach missing parts of a historic statue? Find out in the latest edition of our behind-the-scenes video series, revealing our preparations for unveiling of The New RA.

  • The Royal Academy’s Collection includes plaster casts of celebrated ancient sculptures. In the early days of the Royal Academy Schools, these casts were an essential resource. Each student would have to hone their skills by drawing from casts, before they were allowed to draw from life models.

    As we approach the opening of the New RA, many of these casts have been cleaned and restored to make them ready for display in our new spaces. Here’s how it’s done…

  • This content is hosted on Vimeo

    You need to consent to marketing cookies set by Vimeo to view this content. ​

    Manage preferences

    RA250 stories: putting Hercules back together again

    The New RA, opening 19 May 2018, will feature brand new spaces for displaying the treasures of the RA Collection. Many of these have works required extensive conservation work to clean off dirt and reveal the detail underneath.

    Watch as conservation students and directors from Taylor Pearce Studios work to ensure that casts from our collection, including the mighty Farnese Hercules, are returned to their former glory, ready to be shown off in our new free galleries this spring.

    Video: Warm Films.

  • The RA250 Stories video series goes behind the scenes to reveal the ideas and people behind the transformation of the Royal Academy ahead of our 250th anniversary in 2018. Watch earlier episodes here. This video series is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    Visit the RA250 page for more information about the plans for our 250th anniversary in 2018.