Lucia Burgio

Title: Senior Scientist (Object Analysis)
Department: Conservation Science

Dr Lucia Burgio is Senior Scientist (Object Analysis) at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She graduated in Chemistry summa cum laude from the University of Palermo, Italy, in 1996, and completed a PhD degree in Chemistry at University College London in 2000. After a few months working in Italy, she joined the Science Section, Conservation Department, at the V&A in 2000. Her main duties involve the analysis and technical examination of museum objects, usually with Raman microscopy, X-ray fluorescence and optical microscopy. She assists the Museum’s curators and conservators in the examination and understanding of the objects, and also in their dating and authentication. She has been an Honorary Research Fellow at UCL since 2001 and has been chairing the AMC Heritage Science sub-committee, Royal Society of Chemistry, since 2014. Her main interests include pigments and other artists’ materials as well as oriental lacquer.

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Under the Skin of the Spirit of Gaiety – Part 2

Figure 1: Three paint samples from the Angel embedded in polyester resin and polished as cross sections.

  This series of blog entries is about the scientific examination of the gold finish of the Spirit of Gaiety, the angel which once graced the dome of the Gaiety Theatre in London. Optical Microscopy A few days ago I outlined the reasons why we are investigating the gilding of the Gaiety Angel. Here is […]

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Under the Skin of the Spirit of Gaiety – Part 1

Figure 1 - The Spirit of Gaiety, Hibbert C. Binney, 1904. Museum no. S.2630-1996.

Many of you may have had a glimpse of the Spirit of Gaiety statue from the Painting Galleries (Figure 1): it is a very large, carved and gilded angel blowing a trumpet, originally designed for the dome of the Gaiety Theatre in London and erected there in 1904 (Figure 2). Although any visitor can view […]

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All that glitters is not gold – or is it?

Science meets Shoes. Go behind the scene and find out what we do to our objects before they can go on display. This is the tale of the two Lucias, Lucia the research assistant and Lucia the scientist: together we reveal aspects of our job related to the forthcoming exhibition “Shoes – Pleasure and Pain”. […]

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Exploratory surgery on the cast of Michelangelo’s David

Being Italian, I always felt secretly chuffed when I passed by the V&A Cast Courts and saw the plaster replica of Michelangelo’s David standing there: who better than him could watch over other reproductions of medieval and Renaissance masterpieces from the Bel Paese? Imagine then how thrilled I was when I was asked to perform […]

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