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The Boston Globe

Arts

Museums Special

Gardner Museum restores ancient fireplace

Gardner staff gives fireplace a fresh look

For decades, the fireplace has largely been hidden from view. That’s because the Tapestry Room at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has been used for the museum’s concerts and, as part of the set up, a stage was built in front of the fireplace. Now, the Gardner’s preparing for the 2012 opening of its expansion, a second building that will feature a new entrance, galleries, and a music hall.

That has allowed the Tapestry Room to be restored for its intended use, the display of art. The chimney has been an added bonus. Once the stage was removed, the conservators realized they had an added feature in the room, one which they’ve put in an estimated 650 hours to strip, clean, and fix-up.

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