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Odd Old Radiator Question

I'm renovating a kitchen in a 1968 Long Island apartment. In the wall behind the sink cabinet, behind the plumbing, is an old radiator that was wrapped in a blanket of insulation when we did the demolition. Basically, the question is what purpose was the insulation serving, and should I replace the insulation?

Photographs of the radiator (without the insulation) are attached.

The insulation was quite old (appeared to be black, but when I took it out it was yellow/pink). Also, the insulation was only wrapped 3/4 of the way around the radiator, with the side facing into the kitchen largely exposed. Behind the radiator is the exterior wall of the building.

Re: Odd Old Radiator Question

If it was just on the back side I would say it was to reduce heat losses through the exterior wall. Since its on three sides, it is to significantly reduce the heat output of this convector.

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