CONSERVATION

Photo by Audrius Solominas

THE CONCEPT FOR THE RESTORATION OF THE SAPIEHA PALACE

The unique nature of the restoration concept of the Sapieha Palace lies in the multitude of research stages and management, and the duration and continuity of the whole process. The first scientific research was carried out during the Soviet era, but the real conservation work at the palace started in 1992 when the palace was returned to the state after Lithuania regained independence. The long period of restoration work will culminate in the opening of the Baroque palace to the public in 2024. In 2023, in accordance with solutions drawn up by a group of historians and conservators, the facades of the building (conservation, restoration) have been restored and the interior of the palace has been adapted for exhibitions and cultural activities.

 

Based on the principles of the Venice Charter (1964) and other international conservation documents, the decision was made to restore the Sapieha Palace to the appearance of its 1692 design. The palace, founded at the end of the 17th century, is the work of the most famous architects and artists working in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: Giambattista Frediani designed the palace, while sculptor Giovanni Pietro Perti and painter Michelangelo Palloni decorated it. The Baroque palace lost its original appearance when the building was converted into a hospital between 1843 and 1848. The decision to demolish the elements of this phase of the reconstruction was based on the deconstruction methodology of other phases: the palace interior has been restored to the proportions and layout of rooms typical of a Baroque palace, and the most important architectural and decorative elements of the historical phases have been exposed in the interior walls. Restoration work was carried out on the brickwork and the roof, and the west and south facades were restored. Detailed research on the interior of the palace is ongoing, and strategies and concepts are being developed for the display of the rooms.