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The use of lasers in the conservation of museum objects made from plastics

The surface of polystyrene under the optical microscope exposed to different conditions

Dafni Daskalaki-Mountanou, MSc student Imperial College / V&A The predominance of polymers in everyday life is obvious. They have become an integral part not only of everyday objects but of cultural heritage objects as well. A survey held in the 1990s at the Victoria and Albert Museum showed that large numbers of artefacts were partly […]

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The Resurrection of the Salisbury Cross

Cross after treatment

Alicia Robinson, Senior Curator, Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics & Glass Donna Stevens, Senior Metals Conservator Zoe Allen, Senior Furniture and Gilding Conservator This three metre high cross once on top of the choir screen in Salisbury Cathedral was designed by George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878) and made by Francis Skidmore of Coventry (1817-1896) and erected in about […]

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The Analysis of Cleaning Protocols for Plastics in the V&A Collections

Figure 2. Polystyrene samples being loaded into the ToF-SIMS machine for analysis

Anna L Fricker Research Postgraduate, V&A and Imperial College London The issue of plastics conservation is one that has been highlighted in this journal several times over the last twenty years and has most recently focused on the need to look at a proactive approach to the care of polymeric artefacts1. As part of this […]

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Caring for Plastics – An intern’s reflection on the conservation of modern materials

Part of the ‘Plastic Teaching Collection’ held in the Conservation Science Laboratory

Mark Kearney V&A HLF Intern   Since 2006, The Institute of Conservation and Heritage Lottery Fund (ICON-HLF) funded internship scheme has been providing valuable opportunities to those wishing to join the conservation profession. The internships have provided two indispensable career-building ingredients to those entering the field – professional, real-world experience, and funding, in order to […]

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The Ethics of Dust: Trajan’s Column

Art installation made of conservation latex that has been used to ‘clean’ the hollow inside of the cast of Trajan’s Column.

If you missed Jorge’s installation at the V&A, or would like to see more of his work, a new commission for ‘ The Ethics of Dust ‘ is currently on display in Westminster Hall, Palace of Westminster, London. https://www.artangel.org.uk/project/the-ethics-of-dust/   Sarah Healey-Dilkes, Senior Sculpture Conservator Jorge Otero-Pailos, Artist, Architect, Preservationist SHD: Your artwork, ‘The Ethics of Dust: […]

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A Big Clean – cleaning textile hangings at De Wit, Belgium

This fortnight, we have an entry written for us by guest blogger Katy, one of the Textile Conservators who has been working on objects to be displayed in the new galleries.   The new Europe galleries will showcase some brilliant and beautiful examples of large textile hangings, including tapestry, needlepoint and wool appliqué. Early on in […]

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