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Watch how KC’s iconic Shuttlecock sculptures are cleaned

It is still spring, which means it’s still not too late to do some spring cleaning.

Conservators at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art were doing just that Wednesday as they cleaned winter’s grime off the Shuttlecock sculptures that dot the lawn of the museum. The four large sculptures were installed on the lawn in 1994 and are the creations of husband-and-wife artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

While art restoration specialist inside the museum can be found handling near-priceless works of art with white gloves and cleaning the pieces with special solvents and delicate brushes, that just doesn’t hold true when caring for giant yard art.

Since the Shuttlecock sculptures are made of modern materials like aluminum, fiberglass and plastic they don’t really require delicate handling. The museum conservators use a lot of elbow grease, scrub brushes, detergent, a garden hose and some Bon Ami household cleaner. That’s right. They use household cleaning detergent.

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