Renewing monuments in the metro

There are many enamel-made pieces of art on metro line M3 what are decorating the passenger areas since the nineties. An important part of the reconstruction is to restore and renew these pictures. Besides some cases majority of them will appear on the same areas where they were originally placed to. Some minor placement modifications are necessary due to the accessibility-related structural works (building of the elevator shafts); an example for this is the picture titled „Surface and texture” made by Gábor Tari at Újpest-Központ terminus. Experts were discussed the possibility to bend or to separate the picture into some parts in order to build the elevator shaft, yet in the end the decision was to keep it intact but to place it somewhere else in the station.

The removal, restore and replacement works are supervised by Gábor Tari and József Zalakovács who worked in some pieces of arts in the metro themselves as well and whose pictures are witnessed by tens of thousands of passengers on a daily basis for more than 30 years, in Gyöngyösi utca station, Újpest-Városkapu station and in Újpest-Központ terminus. Both of them are working as teachers at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics with more than two decades of professional experience behind them.

In the last week Gábor Tari held a presentation in which he reported the current state of the renewal works, the major updates, like how carefully they had to do the disassembling works, since there was no modification at all about the pictures ever since they were placed there. During these, interesting items were found, like a wallet with the owners papers inside.

Although some pictures became faded or some parts were missing, in some cases pictures were completely intact. Some of them were „secured” by a wending machine or a newspaper stand placed before them, others like „The way of stars” made by Iván Máriási at Forgách utca station may have been kept complete by the sympathy of the ridership.

As Gábor Tari reported, documentations of all the pictures were succesfully found, meaning that the restoring works would be much easier. The pieces will be cleaned one by one and only the parts in the worst conditions will be replaced. One of the enamel factory in Hungary undertook these works, where the original technique will be used to recreate the missing parts. The head of the factory’s lab is working there for more than 30 years thus she remembers those times when the original enamel-pitcures were made. Since documentations were very precise, all the colour codes are there to use, making the restoring works a smooth one.

It is important to see that the reconstruction of metro line M3 is a various work: besides making the transportation a better, faster, safer one, it is also significant to keep some of the original image of the stations by restoring these pieces of arts. Thus the renewed metro will be able to comply technical and aestheticwise both to the modern era and to the past as well.

Dr. Gábor Tari