Chandeliers installed at the new St Albans Museum and Gallery
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Golden chandeliers have been installed at the new St Albans Museum and Gallery in the city centre.
The chandeliers were raised in the Town Hall Assembly Room yesterday (Thursday, May 17), in preparation for the museum’s opening.
Each of the three chandeliers measures 2.2m tall by 1.6m wide, with 32 external candle arms of alternating heights and 32 internal bulbs. Combined, there are more than 500 strings of crystals, and the neck and central bands of the chandeliers bear the design of the St Albans cross.
Cllr Annie Brewster, portfolio holder for sport and culture, said: “In 1831, George Smith intended the Town Hall to be the most opulent public building in St Albans, the double height Assembly Room being designed for balls, dinners and concerts.
“These new bespoke St Albans Chandeliers complement the grand proportions of this magnificent room. The gold is matched to the new elaborately decorated grey and gold ceiling, kindly sponsored by Rick Willmott and Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd.
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“The design is based on early 19th Century Empire style crystal chandeliers. They were made near Venice and gold plated near Florence by a small workshop sourced by the Italian lighting Centre based in Penarth, Wales.”
The chandeliers took three days to install, including nine hours of stringing the crystals onto gold frames. The west St Albans chandelier was sponsored by Howard and Sheila Guard and the east St Albans chandelier was sponsored by Sir Roy and Lady Gardner.
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Proprietor Carl Mallory said: “We worked with Annie’s detailed designs and translated them into Italian for our studio. Three brothers made the chandeliers in just three weeks to make the deadline for the Museum and Gallery opening.
“However, they nearly did not get across the channel as an illegal immigrant jumped into our van at Calais and we were very lucky the cargo was not impounded.”
Restoring the Town Hall has taken two years and cost £7.75 million. It will be free to all visitors and will showcase more than 2,000 years of heritage from St Albans and around the world as well as hosting art exhibitions.
The St Albans Museum and Gallery will open its doors to the public on Friday, June 8.