How to Fix a Torn Picasso

Restoration will halve painting's value
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2010 2:15 PM CST
This image provided by the Metropolitan Museum of Art shows "The Actor," a painting from Picasso's rose period.   (ARS)

(Newser) – It's painstaking work, but conservators can indeed repair the Picasso torn by a clumsy museum patron. Once restored, however, the painting will likely lose about half its $130 million value, reports the New York Post. A few different repair options are available, notes the Explainer column in Slate. With the damaged painting under a microscope, experts can line up each weft—the crosswise fibers—with its counterpart, and re-weave them together.

Alternately, conservators can attach each weft to a new piece of fabric attached to the back of the painting. The warps, or lengthwise fibers, have likely been, well, warped, and must also be repaired. Some may have to be tied off while others are lengthened by adding new bits of material. Lastly, the blow may have distorted areas of the painting other than the tear. The fix is to apply humidity, making a fiber shrink along its length into the proper placement.

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