Friday, May 28, 2010

Exhibition: The Conservator's Art

LA Times (Charles Burress)

Berkeley's show at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology is free, small and devoid of crowds. But the key difference is a dual focus: on both rarely seen objects and "the conservator's art," the exacting craft and detective science of analyzing and preserving crumbling and extremely fragile items that are thousands of years old.

The exhibition — "The Conservator's Art: Preserving Egypt's Past," which runs until next spring — not only displays mummy cases, statuettes, hieroglyphics and other artifacts usually locked away in Berkeley's trove of Egyptian treasures. It also describes, for example, the crocodiles' journey to the Stanford University School of Medicine in February for $12,000 worth of rides through CT scanners normally used for humans. The tests revealed that one mummy, which has never been unwrapped, contained jumbled bones from more than one animal.

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