Thursday, February 17, 2011

Restoring artefacts - What does it take?

PBS Newshour (Evan Conway)

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.

No comments: