As the dust settles on Egypt's recent protests, one less-discussed outcome of the uprising is the damage done to some of the country's ancient artifacts. After would-be looters broke into the famous Egyptian museum in Cairo in search of gold on Jan. 29, approximately 70 artifacts were damaged.
Among the items were several small statues, a 3,000-year-old tomb, and a statue of King Tutankhamun. The king, who formerly stood atop a panther, was severed from the animal after the break-in.
With some twenty-five artifacts now in line for restoration, we looked further into the science of conservation.
"Science plays a much larger role than it used to in conservation," said Paul Jett, head of the Department of Conservation and Scientific Research at the Freer and Sackler galleries. Conservation science has a three-pronged focus that includes the study of materials and their deterioration, treatment of those materials, and the use of scientific methods to answer historical questions.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Restoring artefacts - What does it take?
PBS Newshour (Evan Conway)