As of yesterday, the Teatro Principal has a renewed exterior appearance after undertaking the cleaning and rehabilitation of its main façades, the consolidation of the eight statues of the Allegories of the Muses on its roof, the revision of its roof and the installation of the new lighting system. The work, which began during the summer and was undertaken on an emergency basis, has involved an investment of over 300,000 euros and has focused on the facades facing the Coso, Blasco Street and the Plaza de José Sinués.
A municipal inspection determined the need to act to avoid both possible landslides and the degradation of the exterior elements of a building that is a Catalogued Asset of the Aragonese Cultural Heritage, so the areas of Culture and Urban Planning launched the necessary actions to safeguard a facility “of great historical and cultural relevance for our city”, as recalled the Deputy Mayor Sara Fernandez, who has highlighted the “excellent work done that, moreover, at no time has interfered in the cultural and theatrical activity that has been developing these months inside”.
The new lighting, which highlights the symbolic elements of the facade and enhances the figures of the Allegories of the Muses, “highlights the importance of this facility,” said the councilor of Urbanism, Victor Serrano, who thanked the municipal workers and the contract that executed the works “professionalism and dedication” with works that have been “more complex than can be seen” because “the statues were in a very delicate structural situation and the brickwork of the facade had numerous flaws and in some parts a high level of degradation”.
In line with this necessary action, the old generic lighting of the Coso façade has also been replaced by other architectural lighting, more modern and in line with the characteristics of the façade to be highlighted, highlighting the upper façade of the building and outlining its most unique elements with the help of RGB technology that allows different colors and different sequences and greater or lesser intensity in the lighting.
Other actions carried out as part of this new lighting project were the replacement of the spotlights under the entrance canopy with other equivalent lights of higher intensity; the replacement of the fluorescent backlit signage screens, incorporating the necessary equipment to highlight the contents; the change of the lighting of the main sign on the chamfered corner; the elimination of the general lighting projectors located on the second floor; the installation of new lighting in the window jamb profiles; the signage lighting of the information banners and the linear lighting of the upper area with new projectors towards the caryatids on the roof.
Likewise, the statues of the Allegories of the Muses now present a clean and renewed image on the cornice of the main entrance to the building. The Architectural Conservation Service of Urbanism remarked before the start of the works that the “state of the eight statues, in two groups of four, one on the façade of the Coso and the other on the corner between Plaza Sinués and Calle Blasco, show losses of their compositional material, both in the area of attachment and due to wear in surface layers, fissures and generalized cracking, some with elements of materials close to detachment and, as usual, attacks of a biotic nature”.
The building of the Teatro Principal, designed by Agustín Sanz and Agustín Gracián, has undergone numerous transformations, extensions and interventions, both on the facades and inside, since its origins in 1799.
For their part, the sculptures of the Allegories of the Muses are groups of four pieces (Thalia, Melpomene, Euterpe and Terpsichores) that are 2.3 meters high each, are made of artificial stone, are the work of the sculptor Francisco Rallo and were placed in 1970. At the time, four sets (one per façade) of four sculptures each were planned, but in the last intervention on the Theater, in 1985, the façades were substantially transformed, so the 16 sculptures were relocated.
At present, there are four on the main facade of Coso Street, and another four are located at the rear of the Plaza de José Sinués with Eusebio Blasco Street. Another five were distributed inside the building and the remaining two are located in the Plaza de Santo Domingo, escorting the entrance to the Teatro del Mercado.