The repairs to the skin are working. The newly galvanized steel patches are riveted, and then welded in place. It’s not raining today, enabling the repairs to proceed without interruption. When the statue was made in the late 19th c., the process of galvanizing sheet iron or steel was done by dipping the entire sheet into a molten bath of zinc. As the liquid zinc cools, crystals form, creating the characteristic look of galvanized metal. An electroplating process today forms most galvanized sheet steel. This results in a thinner, and likely more uniform deposit of zinc.
These new patches appear shiny because the zinc has not yet oxidized and darkened.
The red rectangle in this picture is a newly applied priming paint layer over a patch. The statue is scheduled to be re-painted at the end of the May, and it will likely rain again before the re-painting. The red paint is a protective layer to prevent corrosion of the new welds and patches, before the new paint is applied. This will help in getting a good bond of the new paint layers to the metal.
Lisa Bruno is the head conservator of objects at the Brooklyn Museum, where she has been working since 1993. She has previously worked at the Art Institute of Chicago, and has had internships at The Cleveland Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and in private practice. She has a Masters Degree in Art Conservation from the University of Delaware, Winterthur Museum Art Conservation Department. She is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation.