Comprehensive restoration of Catherine Block began in 2018. First, technicians hydroisolated the facility, then its interiors were renovated. For example, the sculptures, tiled ovens and hearths were cleansed, decorative paintings were restored. Colours for the walls were chosen with special thoroughness: in order to get a necessary colour, all paints were picked and mixed by hand. The renovation of the exteriors included two stone porches installed according to a project by Rastrelli, with gilded monograms of Empress Elizabeth the First, who was the first owner of the palace.
It should be noted that aside from the renovation, employees of the Peterhof museum also tried to adapt the exposition of Catherine Block to needs of modern visitors.
The building is equipped with wheelchair ramps now. All halls of the museum are provided with annotations in Russian, English and Braille. A plaster cast of the bas-relief "Grape Picking by Children" and fragments of tiles and plaster decorations are located in a special entrance group for tactile perception. Relief images of paintings from the Peterhof museum collection are exhibited specially for blind and visually impaired visitors: "Portrait of the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna" (K.L. Khristinek from the original by L. Karavak, 1760) and "Catherine the Second on the Horse Brilliant" (V. Eriksen, after 1762). The inclusive elements of the exposition were created in cooperation with the State Saint Petersburg Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Details about the restoration are available on the website of the Committee for Culture: https://www.gov.spb.ru/gov/otrasl/c_culture/news/213908/. We would also like to add that Catherine Block will be opened for visitors a day later, on May 21.