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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 November, 2004, 06:14 GMT
Famous painting to get 'facelift'
The Blaydon Races
The painting is based on a famous music hall song.
Visitors to a Tyneside art gallery will be able to see one of its most famous paintings being given a facelift.

The Blaydon Races, by William Irving, is based on a music hall song, and describes a colourful journey to the races in 1862.

Conservators will be at the Shipley Gallery to examine paintings and carry out restoration work prior to a major new exhibition next year.

The work on The Blaydon Races will be carried out in public view on Tuesday.

Two other paintings, Ruth by Charles Landelle and November Winter by Bisson, will also be inspected.

'Trade secrets'

Art conservator Nicola Grimaldi said: "This is a fascinating process."

Paintings will have light surface dirt removed, the debris taken out from behind the lower edges, and they will be refitted into the frames which will also be cleaned and retouched.

"We are looking forward to showing members of the public secrets of the trade and the chance to see some of the gallery's most popular paintings as they've never been seen before.

The Blaydon Races will take centre stage on 1 December at the Heritage Lottery Fund's 10th Birthday celebrations at Locomotion: the National Railway Museum at Shildon.


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