Fifth Element Mangalore Costume Mask Restoration

Restoration of a Fifth Element Mangalore Costume Mask from the 1997 Bruce Willis film

This Fifth Element Mangalore mask was brought to us by one of our clients who was looking to restore and preserve the mask for years to come. The mask had some wear and tear, especially because the foam latex material had dried out over the years and become fragile. With many of the materials used by film and television productions, they only need something to last the length of filming. So over time the materials can break down and that is where the artist here at TSD come in!

The first step with this 5th Element Mangalore mask was a proper and gentle cleaning. This not only helps with the atheistic of the pieces but gives our artists a well prepped canvas to begin their work. Restoration artist Maria Teran began by stabilizing the fragile areas with targeted internal patching, and then worked by carefully patching any of the missing area of material, which also helps stabilize the surrounding material.

In filling the gaps, she made sure to match the texture of the surrounding material so that once the patches are painted they become virtually invisible. She also worked to reassemble some of the bib area which had cracked and separated, a little like a fragile jigsaw puzzle.

Maria also created a custom head insert which would help to support and display the mask. A lot of times when masks (like this one) have a bib area, if it is left without a proper support, it can cause damage by flexing or moving. The patches are then in-painted, to create a seamless transition. The final step of to give the entire piece generous coatings of sealer, to help protect this unique piece of sci-fi movie history as it heads to the future…

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Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, and Gary Oldman star in this outrageous sci-fi adventure!

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