Church of St Wenceslas, Na Zderaze, Prague, Czech Republic

  The Church of St Wenceslas is one of the important examples of High Gothic architecture in the city of Prague. Its Romanesque foundations date back to the year 1180. The monument was in a state of serious decay with several worsening cracks within its interior, where part of the vault belt had altogether collapsed. Immediate reconstruction and securing of the vaulting were of paramount importance for the building's survival. The company GEMA ART GROUP a.s. played a significant part both in making safe the vaulting and the restoration of the wall paintings with motifs of St Wenceslas. The company carried out the actual expert work and was also responsible for photogrammetric, stratigraphic, restoration and technical building surveys.

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“Slavín” Crypt in Vyšehrad Cemetery, Prague, Czech Republic

The Slavín Crypt in Vyšehrad Cemetery in Prague, built according to design by the architect Antonín Wiehl, is a traditional example of art reflecting the patriotic spirit of the 19th century. Slavín ('sláva' means fame in Czech), was intended as a pantheon to the most important personalities of the Czech nation and the monument fulfils this vision perfectly.
The crypt contains 51 tombs with the remains of the foremost representatives from the world of art and science. Reconstruction of both the exterior and the interior of the Slavín Crypt had been in progress since 1973 and the building work was only completed in 2006. The company GEMA ART GROUP a.s. took part in the restoration of the monument and carried out work on its exterior in the years 2005 and 2006.
The tasks involved mainly the restoration of stone elements and of the window added in 1929 by the architect Josef Fanta. The wrought iron grilles of the entrance gate and the staircase were also renovated

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Jesuit College, Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

Reconstruction of the Jesuit College in Kutná Hora, which commenced in 2004 and which is scheduled for completion in 2011, is undoubtedly the most extensive building and restoration project undertaken since this Baroque building came into existence. The College has been listed as a National Monument since 3rd May 1958 but had been regarded as a building of historic and architectural importance as far back as the beginning of the 20th century, when any work on it was first supervised by representatives of the Commission for Heritage of that time.
GEMA ART GROUP a.s. has taken part in this extensive reconstruction project. It was mainly responsible for restoration surveys and research required prior to any building and demolition work to prevent any potential disturbance to valuable historic features. Restoration and technical research carried out by GEMA ART GROUP a.s. concerned mainly a survey of the original Baroque façade and the interior walls. Results of the research formed an expert basis for a feasible program of restoration.
Apart from the above research the company GEMA ART GROUP a.s. was also responsible for the removal of non-original layers of plaster in the College refectory and subsequent preservation of the Baroque wall paintings, and restoration of the windows, wrought iron grilles and the original Baroque flooring. The company's experts also took part in the restoration of the façades of the towers.
The project was divided into several stages. Apart from the work on the actual College building, GEMA ART GROUP a.s. was also responsible for the renovation of the group of 13 Baroque statues in front of the building. This work took place between May 2005 and October 2006.

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Hotel Mandarin Oriental, Prague - Malá Strana, Czech Republic

 The building of the five star Hotel Mandarin Oriental is located in the historic part of the Lesser Town in Prague. The complex of the former Dominican monastery is a listed Cultural Heritage Monument of the Czech Republic and also part of the Prague UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The hotel was opened after an extensive redevelopment of the complex, which took place in 2005 and 2006. GEMA ART GROUP a.s. was responsible for specialist work carried out within the framework of the overall reconstruction. The work was led by experts in possession of the appropriate Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic licence and involved chiefly conservation and restoration of interior stone elements, restoration of the wooden beamed ceiling and the decorative stuccos. The original street sign "Dominikánská", written in Neo-gothic script on the exterior of the hotel building, was also restored. The project also involved surveying, uncovering and subsequent conservation of the original layers of wall plastering within the interior.

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Restoration of the Kolowrat and the Small Fürstenberg Palaces, Prague - Malá Strana, Czech Republic

Work on this prestigious contract to renovate and reconstruct the buildings housing the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic took place between the years 2003 and 2006. The premises of the Senate comprise several buildings: the Wallenstein Palace, the Wallenstein Riding School, the Kolowrat Palace and the Small Fürstenberg Palace.
The company GEMA ART GROUP a.s. had already participated in the complete renovation of Wallenstein Palace, including the Sala Terrena in the Wallenstein Garden, which had been undertaken from 1996 to 2001. The project was awarded the highly regarded annual EU prize Europa Nostra in the Architectural Heritage category in appreciation of the complexity of this renovation and restoration task.
The reconstruction of the Kolowrat and the Small Fürstenberg Palaces numbers among the most extensive and most important projects the GEMA ART GROUP a.s. have ever taken part in. The buildings have been listed as National Cultural Monuments since 1992. The aim of the project was to restore the original appearance of the buildings and remove unsuitable previous alterations. All aspects of the work were consulted beforehand with representatives of the National Heritage Institute and subsequently carried out by experts holding the Restoration Licence of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. All work was completed by 5th June 2006.

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Baroque sculptures in front of the Jesuit College, Kutná Hora, Czech Republic

 Restoration work of almost a year and a half's duration on the Baroque sculptural groups dating to 1707 to 1740 complemented the extensive reconstruction of the neighbouring Jesuit College complex. The company GEMA ART GROUP a.s. took part both in the renovation of the Jesuit College and the rescue of these unique sculptures. The work concerned thirteen statues of saints, ten stone vases, two sculptures of heraldic angels and also the parapet wall on which the sculptures are placed. This wall measures 130 metres. The work was preceded by restoration survey, technical and laboratory research and study of archive materials. The research was carried out by the Institute of Restoration and Conservation Techniques, located in the town of Litomyšl, in 2004. On request from the National Heritage Institute an additional restoration survey was carried out by the staff of GEMA ART GROUP a.s. during May to July 2005 and included petrographic and stratigraphic studies as well as analysis of the salinity levels of the stone. Examination of the statue of St John Nepomuk, which was installed several decades later than the rest, was particularly important. Original material of the sculptures was coarse grain biodetric limestone, known as "mussel shell stone" due to the presence of a certain amount of macrofossils (mostly shells of crustaceans) in the rock. This type of mineral is distinguished by high porosity and resultant absorptivity. Combined with other factors the limestone has a propensity towards corrosion and the occurrence of several millimetres thick gypsum crusts in areas of rain shadow, with the latter causing loss of the original surface undulations. The rain water washed off the surface contours and created hollows. Some statues were found to be in a critical state. The degree of stone degradation was most pronounced in the statues of St Ludovic and St Francis Xaverius. The work of the restorers was chiefly aimed at conservation in order to respect the value and authenticity of the artwork. No future restoration procedures were recommended. It is presumed that the sculptures will be placed in a suitable interior setting and more weather resistant copies will be made. As part of the work metal elements, which either complemented the sculptures or held individual components of the sculptural groups together, were also restored.

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