The Monument of Gratitude to France decorates Kalmegdan park for over 80 years now. It is the artwork of sculptor Ivan Meštrović, and it was erected as a sign of appreciation to France for the help and the cooperation during the World War I and in the after war period. The monument is composed of central female bronze figure raised on a high stone postament, with one relief composition in stone on each side of the postament . The central female figure, in expressive movement with a sword draw out, symbolizes France rushing to help Serbia. Side reliefs are the Sorbona – a representation of educational help to Serb youth, and the Warriors – a composition which symbolizes cooperation of French and Serbian armies during the war. The reliefs were made by Meštrovićs students: Frano Kršinić, Antun Augustinčić, Grga Antunac, Šime Dujmić i Orlandini, according to his design.
This year, the Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments of Belgrade started a project of conservation and restoration of the monument to restore its pristine appearance. Restoration work on the stone reliefs were dedicated to sculptor workshop of professor Goran Čpajak. As the reliefs suffered significant decay and lost their form, it was decided that the copies will be produced based on the original working versions of the reliefs, made in gypsum, which were used in the process of the creation of the monument. The original stone reliefs will be moved to the City Museum of Belgrade.
Faithfull transfer of relief dimensions and form, and also speeding up the working process, created a need to partly process the copies of the reliefs on a CNC machine. Our studio was given a task to produce 3D models of the original gypsum casts and to prepare the models for CNC processing. We documented the reliefs with close-range photogrammetry and created identical digital copies. On the 3D models we performed processes to equalize point density of the models surface and to adjust the models for working resolution (steps) of the CNC machine. The mechanical cutting of the stone block created reliefs in line resolution of 4mm, and the final treatment and fine touch were done by sculptors work.
3d model of the Sorbona relief
3d model of the Sorbona relief _ detail
Fine touching by the sculptor
The Sorbona relief _ work in progress