FLYING (MAGIC) CARPET BY PANAMARENKO
BY MIRIAM SCHANZ
Flying Carpet (2.32 m x 3.90 m x 6 cm) was made by Pana- marenko in 1979 for the European Patent Office following the requirements for Kunst am Bau. The materials used include various metals, wood, electric devices (e.g. batteries, electric mo- tors) and plastic materials such as Makrolon®. As documented by early photographs the artwork underwent changes unjustified by the artist’s intention: During an earlier treatment the original tinsel-like material was substituted by rigid wire mesh fringes. Furthermore the complete original wire mesh top layer had been replaced by a different type of wire meshing. Careful research enabled the reconstruction of the tinsel-like fringes and a type of wire mesh close to the original could be found.
Various possibilities of how to preserve aged and leaking batteries were discussed but no conservation treatment was found to be reasonable. It was decided to only take off leaked out electrolyte and to reattach loosened battery packs with silicone rubber. The glue, which had been used on the Makrolon® parts in a former attempt to repair, had become discoloured and dysfunctional. Therefore it was removed and joints were carried out again with a polyvinylacetate glue (Mowilith® 50, 40 %).