Chandelier in Philadelphia's Academy of Music Removed for 13-Month Cleaning

Classic Arts News   Chandelier in Philadelphia's Academy of Music Removed for 13-Month Cleaning
The historic crystal chandelier in Philadelphia's Academy of Music has left the building for the first time since it was installed in 1857. This afternoon it was lowered from the auditorium's ornate ceiling for 13 months of cleaning and restoration.

Now that the nearly 5,000-pound fixture — which is 25 feet tall and almost 13 feet wide — has been safely brought to ground level, workers will disassemble its six ornamented bronze tiers and carefully wrap the approximately 8,000 crystals for shipment to southern France. There the entire chandelier will be cleaned and restored by Mathieu Lustrerie, a specialized firm which has done similar work on the chandeliers of the Op_ra de Monte Carlo and the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.

A theatrical lighting truss will be installed in the chandelier's place for the coming concert season to provide light for the auditorium's parquet.

The Academy of Music, on Broad Street in center city Philadelphia, celebrates its sesquicentennial this year; it is the oldest opera house in the U.S. and the second oldest in the Americas. Now operated as part of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Academy is the performance home of Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Ballet; it hosts a number of touring musical theater productions each year as well. The Philadelphia Orchestra, which performed there for decades, returns once a year for a gala benefit concert.

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