From Realtà Mapei International n° 53 - 4/8/2021

The Mysterious Baths by Giorgio de Chirico get a facelift

Mapei technology and products for the renovation of sculptures by Giorgio de Chirico in the gardens of Milan’s design museum.

Location icon Milan

For the Expo 2015 event, an evocative piece of seascape – just what Milan needed – behind the Triennale Design Museum has been revamped: “The Mysterious Baths (Bagni Misteriosi)” are once again on view.
Thanks also to the contribution of Mapei technology and products, renovation work has been completed on the sculpture donated to the city in 1973 by Giorgio de Chirico.

Two swimmers, a swan, a ball, a cabin, a diving board anda large bath, with its bottom painted with waves, havebeen brought back to their original splendour to add a touch of beauty to the gardens surrounding the Palace of Art in Sempione Park.

After four months of site work, with the statues hidden from public view, the fountain’s stone figures have been repainted in bright, acrylic colours, just as the artist desired.
The water in the fountain, which had been missing for so many years, is now flowing again and helps keep the bath clean.

Let’s not forget that the statues of the two swimmers are really copies of the originals. Because they are so fragile, they are now kept in the Museum of the Twentieth Century in Piazza Duomo and can be viewed from the access ramp to the collections in the museum.


Following an intervention in 1997, which was limited to just reassembling the sculptures and making them safe, further renovation work on the sculpture was completed in 2010, with Mapei again making a contribution. The second cycle of work was required to restore the sculpture’s colours, since the water colours used during the first intervention had not been adequately protected and had been damaged by the weather.

For the most recent intervention, following a request from the Head of the Triennale Design Museum renovation workshop, acrylic products that could resist the conditions outdoors were used. All the figures in the fountain were painted in the bright colours originally designed by the artist, mapped out by the Mapei Coatings Laboratory using spectrophotometric analysis.


The actual renovation work consisted of making a new base screed from TOPCEM PRONTO ready-to-use, normal-setting, controlled-shrinkage mortar for quick drying screeds.

The base of the statues was waterproofed with ADESILEX PG1 two-component, rapid-setting thixotropic adhesive.

The baths’ substrate was waterproofed and finished with TRIBLOCK FINISH three-component, epoxy-cementitious mortar, MAPECOAT I600 W two component transparent epoxy primer in water dispersion and ELASTOCOLOR WATERPROOF waterproof, easy-to-clean acrylic paint for internal and external surfaces in permanent contact with water.

ELASTOCOLOR WATERPROOF was also used to finish the statues’ surfaces. This product is ideal for painting indoor and outdoor structures where the substrate needs to be covered with a flexible protective coating suitable for direct contact with water.



Project data sheet

Yard Waterproofing
Location Milan, Italy
Subcategory SCULPTURES
Built in 2009
Opened in 2010
Application Sculputures restoring and waterproofing
Application Type Waterproofing systems
Client Assessorato alla Cultura, Comune di Milano
Contractor company GFM - Restauro Opere d’Arte (Brescia)
Architects Gianfranco Mingardi
Credits Dal Magro/Bandera

Products mentioned in the article

Two-component, rapid-setting thixotropic adhesive for structural bonds. TECHNICAL DATA: Mixing ratio: comp. A : comp. B = 3 : 1. Pot life…
Waterproof, easy-to-clean acrylic paint for internal and external surfaces in permanent contact with water. TECHNICAL DATA: Consistency:…
Ready-to-use, normal-setting, controlled-shrinkage mortar with high thermal efficiency for quick-drying (4 days) screeds. TECHNICAL DATA:…
Three-component, epoxy-cementitious mortar for smoothing damp substrates. TECHNICAL DATA: Maximum dimension of aggregate: 0.25 mm. Mixing…

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