A deep clean focusing on lead sculptures is in progress at Blenheim Palace.

Notable among the 40 iconic fountains, sundials, and sculptures in the palace gardens, these lead artworks adorn the upper and lower Water terraces.

With a routine preservation schedule occurring every few years, Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, employs a biodegradable and non-toxic paint stripper to revitalize the sculptures.

Witney Gazette: Sculpture at Blenheim PalaceSculpture at Blenheim Palace (Image: Pete Seaward)

This process involves coating absorption, leading to paint swelling and ultimate detachment from the sculpture.

A majority of lead sculptures are treated with lead-based oil paints to simulate marble or limestone surfaces.

The sculptures initially received a protective coating in the early 2000s to ward off weather damage and general wear.

Through this stripping operation, the requirement for frequent upkeep of the lead sculptures will considerably diminish.

Regular surveillance of their condition and a yearly wash are expected to suffice post the cleaning procedure.

Along with the conservation of the lead sculptures, the palace's collections team is prepping for winter protection of some outdoor artwork.

Their attention is particularly on two late 19th century Italian marble sculptures, to shield them from impending frost and any severe weather elements that could compromise their historical worth.

Holding prime position between the Italian Garden and the newly renovated Orangery restaurant are two sculptures: Antonio Frilli's floral festoon cylindrical pedestal showcasing Venus and a similarly themed Orazio Andreoni piece.

The sculptures were acquired by the 9th Duke around 1925 and were originally unpainted bronze.

Kate Ballenger, keeper of palace and collections, said: "The continuous conservation, cleaning, and care as well as the process of covering historic items during winter not only protects them from low temperatures but ensures that we keep the history alive for future generations to enjoy."

Visitors can gain access to Blenheim Palace with various ticket options, including Palace, Park and Gardens, Annual Pass, and a Privilege Pass.

Notably, travelling to the estate via public transport, bicycle or a fully electric car will fetch users a 30 per cent discount on Annual Pass or Palace, Park and Gardens day tickets, by using the code GREEN30 during online checkout.

For those looking to witness this unique conservation at work, tickets to Blenheim Palace can be booked on the palace website.