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Dust removed from Luther's tracks

As part of its culture sponsoring, Kärcher cleaned the Stadtkirche St. Marien in Wittenberg an der Elbe. The historic church building is part of the UNESCO world heritage site. Martin Luther gave his first Protestant sermon here in German. Above all, the interest of tens of thousands of visitors is corresponding great this year, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. So that this building, which is also the oldest in the town, remains a jewel in the memory, it was given a thorough cleaning from the ground up – free of charge for the town and congregation.

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All the details were considered. There was certainly not a shortage of challenges. Gravestones, window ledges and ornaments were cleaned of dust and dirt, as were the pews and floors. Removing candle wax from the fragile sandstone floor around the altar proved to be tricky. "The church is fitted with sensors that permanently measure the humidity in order to protect the panel paintings by Cranach and excessive values would have been recorded," recalls Kärcher project manager Gerd Heidrich. "Instead of scrubbing with lots of water, the wax was loosened with hot steam and immediately vacuumed." Moments when the Kärcher team were particularly aware of the great responsibility while handling the irretrievable artefacts.

Rather more traditional cleaning work followed on from out of the venerable rooms: Outside, the lichens and mosses on the base were removed with a hot water pressure cleaner.

The work was completed after a week. Even gold-lead ornaments on the pulpit ceiling, which had been covered with dust for a long time, are shining again with their original brilliance, as are the Alabaster grave memorials. "It was really particularly special to make a contribution on Luther's tracks so that the church remains preserved for many visitors in the future as well," says Heidrich excitedly about the success of the cleaning