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Highlights in this issue

An assessment of the conservation of a unicorn tapestry

Val Blyth, Senior Conservator, Textiles Section, Conservation Department

Previous conservation to the unicorn tapestry had detrimentally altered it's appearance. The biggest challenge to treat this object was knowing which areas should be undone and conserved to bring back clarity to the design elements.

Report on a summer placement at the National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC

Diana Drummond, Textiles Student on the RCA/V&A Conservation Course

There is increasing awareness that the vast majority of damage to objects during their lifetime in museums occurs as a result of poor storage and bad handling. Improvements in storage address both these problems

A fibre optic video microscope

Graham Martin, Head of Science Section
Josephine Darrah, Senior Scientific Officer, Conservation Department

The purchase of a fibre optic based video microscope system enables surface and interior examination of objects with an interchangeable objective lens. This allows one to examine large or immovable objects where the hand-held lens transmits an image viewed to a video screen.

Introducing ‘new methods in cleaning objects’ to the V&A

Lucia Scalisi, Senior Conservator, Paintings Section, Conservation Department

Cleaning objects can be approached in an altogether more accurate and accountable way using biochemical staining techniques and ultra violet autofluorescence to identify varnish layers, and components such as natural resins, drying oils and proteinaceous materials.