PORTLAND, Maine — It was closed all of 2020, but Victoria Mansion is set to reopen to the public on July 1st. NEWS CENTER Maine producer, Mike Kmack spoke with the museum's acting director, Tim Brosnihan, about renovation projects over the last year, and what Queen Victoria, herself, might think of the mansion.
"She would recognize that the architecture of this house is actually inspired by the architecture of her favorite residence, which was The Osborne House," says Brosnihan. "You get a sense of just the scale of opulence in this house, all decoratively painted by hand."
The work that has been done has been paint conservation, which means delicate cleaning. Brosnihan says the cleaning has gone inch by inch, mostly on the elaborate ceilings, with five or six passes per inch.
"For many years they burned coal in this house and they had gas lighting, so think about all of the soot that went into the air and all of the coal dust," says Brosnihan. "That creates a layer of grime that dulls all the colors and turns everything a dull gray."
While things will have a brighter shine, visitors will be closer than ever to the art once Victoria Mansion reopens. Brosnihan says they'll be allowing visitors deeper into the rooms to allow for more social distancing as guests are walking through.