Cleaning up: Bank of England to spend £500m on its first facelift in two decades

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The work on cleaning the masonry of the Grade I-listed building’s exterior wall — known as the Soane Wall after the Bank’s famed surveyor Sir John Soane — will begin this weekend and take 12 weeks to complete.

Specialists Thomann-Hanry — whose previous restorations include the Ritz in Piccadilly, Moscow’s Kremlin, the Louvre in Paris and New York’s MetLife skyscraper — will carry out the work for £450,385 plus VAT, making a final bill of £540,462.

The company will avoid the need to erect expensive scaffolding all around the perimeter of the building by working from a boom-mounted lightweight cabin.


The firm uses a technique called façade gommage — which gently cleans by projecting very fine powders with low-pressure compressed air.

The process does not use any chemicals, detergent or water and doesn’t damage buildings as sandblasting can.

Thomann-Hanry was set up in 1946 in Paris and now has 10 other offices worldwide, including in London.

The last cleaning of the building’s masonry took place in 1993.

The works, approved by both the City of London and English Heritage, will take place on Friday evenings and at weekends to minimise disruption.

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February 18, 2015 |
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