Albertina Leaks Due to Flawed Casing

News Brief: Sept. 2009

After water had invaded the base depot of Vienna’s Albertina Museum in June, around 950,000 works of art were relocated to the museum’s “Basteihalle” in an emergency operation that secured the safety of the art. According to the Albertina’s management, the water had seeped in due to construction defects. The collections will remain in the Basteihalle throughout the reconstruction of the depot.

“The damage that caused the water inlet stems from a construction fault, which occurred during the insulation of housing for the robot,” said Albertina director Klaus Albrecht Schröder and Wolfgang Beer, head of Austria’s Burghauptmannschaft that supervises construction of the city’s historical buildings, in a joint statement.

The construction company responsible was left unnamed pending a decision on a lawsuit for possible negligence.

A new insulating coating will be installed, plus additional iron sheets to detect leaks earlier. The fully-automatic robot-system, disabled by a power failure, will be supplemented by an alternative hand-operated clearance system for the most valuable pieces.

The reconstruction should be finished by mid-October; no interruption of museum operations is planned.

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