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The Dick Institute Mosaic - Restoration Project

The current restoration project aims to recapture the visual splendour of the floor as it would have appeared when the building was opened in 1901. The project completes the comprehensive programme of restoration which began with the cleaning of the exterior stonework. Undertaking the work of restoring the mosaic, is the Mosaic Restoration Company which is based in Northamptonshire

For many years, the mosaic floor in the entrance hall of the Dick Institute was covered by carpeting. Only a small area where the central pictorial panel is displayed, was left uncovered. When the carpeting was removed, numerous blemishes and areas of damage were revealed.
Although based in the Midlands, the company has been engaged in work throughout the United Kingdom. Previous work includes projects in St Paul’s Cathedral and the Albert Memorial in London and Charlotte Square in Edinburgh. More recently, the company restored flooring in the City Chambers in Glasgow. The Dick Institute floor was laid during the same period as the mosaic floor in Glasgow City Chambers, perhaps by the same firm.

Damage to the floor has occurred due to a number of different causes. Long, continuous cracks have arisen due to building settlement. In places groups of tesserae have come adrift leaving holes. Other areas may appear not to be damaged but have lost their bonding to the concrete beneath. Restorative measures will include replacement of lost tesserae, injection of adhesive between the mosaic and the underlying foundation and regrouting.

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council said: “The ongoing restoration project at the Dick is important for Kilmarnock as a whole. The Council is committed to the regeneration of our towns and work is progressing well at several sites. The Dick is a very recognisable part of the Kilmarnock townscape and the fantastic exhibitions that are shown there deserve a top class setting. I look forward to seeing the restored floor when it is completed.”

The work is anticipated to continue for 4 to 5 weeks but visitors will still be able access the museums and galleries and the library as usual. Why not visit the Dick and witness first hand the before and after transformation.