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Apr 14
2014

Parisian Museum De Cluny sheds new light on tapestries

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Visitors to Paris’s Musée de Cluny are now able to see the “Lady and the Unicorn” tapestries, the museum's “very own Mona Lisa”, in an whole new light—literally. The museum has opened a newly refurbished gallery in which to display the textiles, which were woven in Flanders in around 1500. The refurbishment follows an 11-month project to restore the cycle of six tapestries. The museum’s staff wanted to create a more intimate experience, which has been achieved through discreet LED lighting.

Feb 11
2014

Bamiyan Buddhas

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The international community has reacted to news that a team of archaeologists has been reconstructing the feet and legs of the smaller of the two Bamiyan Buddhas, the monumental Afghan sculptures destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. News of this reconstruction, which has taken place without Unesco’s knowledge or permission, was revealed during the 12th meeting of Unesco’s Bamiyan working group, in Orvieto, Italy, in December.

Aug 01
2013

Diocletian's Palace receives laser cleaning

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Conservators in Croatia have completed a ten-year project to remove more than 1,700 years of grime from the courtyard of the palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian (AD244-311), in the coastal city of Split. Lasers were used as the primary method to clean the peristyle of the fourth-century imperial residence—an innovative technique that is normally reserved for cleaning individual sculptures or details of larger architectural elements, as opposed to whole structures. According to the architect Goran Niksic, who works for the city, this is the first time lasers have been used on this scale in Croatia to clean stone.


The peristyle was covered not only in soot, but also in cement dust from a nearby plant that was active in the late 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries. In some parts, the build-up of grime was up to a centimetre thick. The late Antique palace boasts a mix of Western and Oriental architectural styles and inspired many later architects, including the Neoclassicist Robert Adams. “You couldn’t read the architecture or the decoration because of the large patches of soot,” Niksic says, comparing the structure’s appearance to looking at a photographic negative. “It was thick and very difficult to remove, so we opted to use lasers to clean the stone. Normally, lasers are just used for small details; I don’t know anywhere else in Europe where this has been done,” he says. Niksic stresses that “the enemy was the dirt deposit” and that one of the reasons they chose laser treatment was that it “is the only technique that will not touch the [stones’] original patina”.


The full extent of the damage to the stone was only revealed after the layer of black crust was removed; salt crystallisation meant that the stone had begun to decay. A team of chemists, restorers, engineers, architects and archaeologists was brought in to come up with the best method to stabilise the stone. Experts from Florence’s Opificio delle Pietre Dure conservation centre also consulted on the project.


Aside from the obvious benefit to the aesthetics and the preservation of Diocletian’s palace, the project also contributed to the advancement of stone conservation within the country by training a whole new generation of stone conservators. “The project greatly strengthened the region’s stone conservation skills… one of the most important aspects of the project was the training,” Niksic says. 


The project, which was led by the Croatian Conservation Institute and cost between €4.5m and €5m, was funded by the World Monuments Fund, the City of Split and the Croatian ministry of culture. Niksic sees the initial money from the non-governmental fund as “critical” because “it helped get things going” and raised the profile of the project. A maintenance plan is also part of the restoration-conservation project. “In this part of the world, you complete a big project and then forget about it. But regular maintenance is the key to good conservation,” he says.

May 25
2013

Reflectance Transformation Imaging for Conservation at Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI)

Posted by goindigo in conservation news , conservation , archaeology

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RTI shoot at Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

Reflectance Transformation Imaging is readily undergoing adoption by art conservators, who are quick to grasp the utility of this technology for providing visual details that are useful for conservation planning, treatment, research, outreach, and documentation. Because conservators are accustomed to photographing objects using a variety of light sources and lighting angles, RTI becomes a natural progression in which a range of image data can be captured within a single RTI set. Read More about CHI

Mar 29
2013

Penn Museum - In the Artifact Lab

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Part exhibition, and part working laboratory, a glass-enclosed conservation lab brings you right into a museum conservator’s world. See the tools of the trade and watch as conservators work on a wide array of Egyptian objects including rare paintings, ancient funerary objects, and, of course, mummies! Enjoy this unique opportunity to follow conservators as they protect, restore, and preserve pieces of ancient Egyptian history in this 2,000 square foot exhibition.

Feb 01
2013

The 2013 Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards nomination process is now open.

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Slide for Homepage

Read the Eligibility, Requirements, and Awards Descriptions to see how to apply.  The application process is entirely online and applications are due March 8, 2013.  The 2013 Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards will be presented in Indianapolis, IN on November 1, 2013.  Click here to read about 2012 Award recipients!  Video highlights of the 2012 recipients are now available! Please visit each individual recipient's page to see that video or go to YouTube.com/PreservationNation. A video of the 2012 Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards Ceremony can be seen here.  

Jun 25
2012

University of Delaware's historic artist materials library

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goindigo

It is continually developing and augmenting its reference library of art and artist's materials in order to better comprehend the methods used to make art in the past. Reference materials have been crucial in allowing conservators to build comprehensive spectral libraries and, more recently, to translate these reference libraries into easily accessible online databases. click here

 


Mar 21
2012

Conservator works in disaster response

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From archaeological digs in Guatemala and Turkey, to earthquake-devastated museums in Haiti, to universities in Canada and California, Caitlin O'Grady's career covers a lot of ground. View Article

Jan 19
2012

Ancient Greek Sites May be up for Rent

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In a move bound to leave many Greeks and scholars aghast, Greece's culture ministry said Tuesday it will open up some of the debt-stricken country's most-cherished archaeological sites to advertising firms and other ventures. View Article

 

Oct 19
2011

The Heart of the Art

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David Maisel turns xrays into artworks through his project; "History's shadow". During his residency at the JPaul Getty Museum, photographer David Maisel became inspired by the xray image as an art object itself. 


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