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Subject: Stone sculpture

Stone sculpture

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Friday, October 2, 1998
In a message dated 10/1-98-8:57:47 PM, you wrote:

>Of all fields in conservation, the question of
>consolidating outdoor stone is in probably the worst state.  Studies
>of treatments that are reported to work on one kind of stone seem to
>fail miserably on the next, and many seem eventually to promote
>rather than prevent further loss, as you are aware.  For stone
>objects that are deteriorating badly, particularly if they are to
>stay in the same conditions that caused the problem, the literature
>seems to indicate no sure way to consolidate what is still there,
>not to mention prevent further damage or adhering new restoration

I have to respectfully disagree with Barbara here.  I think there
has been a sufficient amount of research and re-analysis of earlier
treatments (see some of the very telling articles in the British
Museum's Early Advances in Conservation monogram, n. 65, 1988) for
conservators to base their treatment designs on.  However, I agree
with Charles Selwitz (1992) that often conservators or contractors
do not refer to the literature and either apply inappropriate
materials (without an understanding of the stone they are treating)
or fail to properly apply the materials.  Kurt Schmidt-Thomsen
stated the same problem in reviewing treatments he had done over a
decade (1979).  I think the main problem we see, is the lack of an
appropriate amount of research done prior to treatment, so that
conservators (or contractors from the trades who also take on these
jobs)  are not fully informed of the materials or stone.

Niccolo Caldararo
Director and Chief Conservator
Conservation Art Service

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                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:34
                 Distributed: Saturday, October 3, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-34-001
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Received on Friday, 2 October, 1998

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