The origin

Casa Burés once boasted wrought iron, bronze and brass items. But these pieces, some of which were by leading foundry workshops of the day with a level of detail comparable to fine jewellery, were the most attractive to looters. In many cases, the pieces were carted off and sold for their weight, even though their real value was not in the metal, but in the metalsmiths, their designs and the detail of their work. 

The bear presiding over the entrance hall of Casa Burés once held a brass lamp created by the Masriera i Campins artistic foundry. The thieves had no qualms about cutting the bear’s front paws off to claim their booty. The bronze decoration in the Hansel and Gretel fireplace was also ripped out. 

Other features, such as the wrought-iron elements balconies on the façade, suffered deterioration due to the passage of time.

The restoration process

The artisans used pictures to reproduce the stolen metalwork

Fortunately, period photographs of the original features are still available. The experts used these pictures to reproduce the looted pieces. 

Jordi Pessarrodona, a trained jewellery maker and bronzesmith, created all the pieces at his foundry workshop, which is housed in a century-old country house once surrounded by farmland that now forms part of the city of Barcelona’s Sants district. 

The restorer

Jordi Pessarrodona is a unique craftsman in his trade, given that few bronzesmiths are also jewellery makers who can work pieces with this level of detail. 

He was born in 1930 and became an apprentice to a jewellery maker at the age of fourteen. He worked in several workshops until a friend offered him foundry equipment and he set up his own workshop. 

As a craftsman, he specializes in casting jewellery and sculptures. He has worked closely with artists such as Jaume Plensa and Lorenzo Quinn. He also made the wrought-iron features in Palau Güell, a building designed by Antoni Gaudí and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.