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Subject: IIC Keck Award winners

IIC Keck Award winners

From: Graham Voce <iic<-at->
Date: Monday, December 10, 2012
The 2012 IIC Keck Award was awarded jointly to the Acropolis Museum
in Athens, Greece, for the conservation and restoration of the
Caryatids with the use of laser technology, in collaboration with
the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser at the Foundation
for Research and Technology in Crete (IESL-FORTH) and to Anglo-Saxon
CSI: Sittingbourne in Kent in the United Kingdom.

The Acropolis Museum

The award relates to the Acropolis Museum's successful approach in
providing visitors the opportunity to observe procedures that until
recently were undertaken in the conservation laboratories.

The Caryatids are a set of six famous female statues that were used
in place of conventional columns to support the roof of the south
porch of the 'Erechtheion', regarded as the most sacred part of the
Acropolis temple complex. One of the Caryatids was removed by Lord
Elgin and was later sold to the British Museum. In 1979 the five
Caryatids were moved to the old Acropolis Museum to be protected
from the atmospheric pollution and in 2007 they were transferred to
the new Acropolis Museum.

In December 2010 the conservation project commenced, for the first
time after the removal of the Caryatids from the monument. This
project includes documentation of the current condition, the fixing
of unstable fragments, structural restoration, removing corrosive
factors and the cleaning of black crust and soot deposits by means
of laser technology.

The surface cleaning is achieved by means of a custom-made,
innovative laser system developed by IESL-FORTH in Heraklion, Crete.
The laser is capable of operating at two wavelengths simultaneously
(Infrared at 1064nm and Ultraviolet at 355nm) and is able to remove
thick pollution accumulations in a controlled and safe way for both
the object and the operator. The combination of the two wavelengths
ensures that no discoloration or damaging phenomena occur on the
original substrate, while revealing its unique surface.

The conservation process is conducted in a laser laboratory platform
installed on the balcony dedicated to the Caryatids in the Acropolis
Museum. The laboratory is housed temporarily on a specially-designed
platform that "embraces" and isolates one sculpture at a time. This
platform is being moved to different heights, so that the
conservators obtain optimum access along the surface of the Kore.
Following strict health and safety regulations, protective curtains
made of special material to block any laser beam surround this lab.

Visitors can follow the work carried out behind the protective
curtains via a camera connected to a monitor outside the laboratory
platform. When conservators are not working, a recording of this
process is displayed on the monitor. Since December 2010, more than
2 million visitors have followed the work of conservators,
participating not only in a highly interesting process, but also in
unique historical moments.

This collaborative effort of the Acropolis Museum and FORTH to
preserve and to rejuvenate the unique cultural Heritage of Greece
while demonstrating to the public how culture and technology can be
combined is a symbolic union between ancient and modern Greece.

Further information about the project and the video can be found in
the following links:





CSI: Sittingbourne - Conservation Science Investigations

Anglo-Saxon CSI: Sittingbourne is a grass-roots conservation project
located in a town centre shopping mall. It consists of an
archaeological exhibition in one shop and an investigative
conservation lab in an opposing unit in Sittingbourne, Kent. In the
exhibition, visitors can learn about the archaeological discovery
and see a selection of conserved finds. In the CSI lab, conservators
and conservation volunteers work on finds from the 6th to 8th
century Anglo- Saxon cemetery site where 229 graves were discovered,
many with extensive high status iron, copper alloy, gold, silver and
garnets grave finds and hundreds of beads. It is a unique community
led heritage conservation project. It allows public access to the
conservation techniques involved in treating and investigating
objects from an archaeological dig.

The project has been a local initiative involving a
Sittingbourne-based conservator (Dana Goodburn-Brown ACR, AMTeC
Co-op Ltd), the archaeological excavation organization (Canterbury
Archaeological Trust) and a voluntary local museum (Sittingbourne
Heritage Museum), combined with the support of local businesses,
history enthusiasts and the wider community. The project opened in
late 2009 and has had more than 5,000 volunteer hours contributed to
it and nearly 20,000 visitors. Conservation volunteers have been
trained to work under supervision and discuss the conservation
project with visitors.

The project and its relationship to the community has been used as a
case study for two different MA student projects focusing on social
values of cultural heritage, (University College London and Kingston
University). Public engagement with archaeological conservation both
before and after the project opened has been examined and visitors
comments collected. Reportage from a resident artist reflects on
public interactions with the shopping mall exhibition, and many
positive communications from visitors to the exhibition and social
media sites substantiate a variety of levels of public engagement
with the process of archaeological conservation science. The
opportunities this type of project presents to the community have
been, and continue to be valued. Locating this project within a
shopping mall is one of its greatest strengths--as an unusual
'shop', it raises curiosity amongst shoppers, is central to the
town, and offers opportunity to many who might never visit
museums/heritage material otherwise. The casual nature of the
display and accessibility to the process of archaeological
conservation entices many regular visitors who 'pop in' to catch up
on developments on a regular basis. The facility was set up largely
through donations of redundant exhibition materials, equipment such
as an airport X-ray machine and conservation supplies.

Several conservation interns have participated in the project and
gained valuable experience both in supervising volunteers and
investigative conservation of finds, and in sharing their skills and
knowledge with the general public. Local school groups have visited
and many children have returned with their family members over the
following months. Special events have been organised, such as
visitors and volunteers being invited to carve and print lino-cuts
of their favourite artefact or conservation discovery. The resulting
prints have been used for a fundraising T-shirt design and
illustrations for a forthcoming popular book on the project.

Publicity, Publications and Social Media: From the opening event in
Oct. 2009, CSI: Sittingbourne has had extensive local media coverage
(BBC news, papers, radio) and national press coverage (The Guardian
and The Independent); as well as numerous articles in professional
and popular magazines. In addition, Dr.Alice Roberts, presenter of
BBC's Digging for Britain brought the project national television
exposure when her series featured the lab. The project was also
recently mentioned as a good example of public engagement with
conservation science at a House of Lords Inquiry, and featured in
The National Heritage Science Strategy document. The Anglo-Saxon CSI
project has a website/blog


with many interesting comments from members of the public and the
conservation profession--including some controversial remarks, which
have served to spark much discussion amongst conservation volunteers
and interested observers. The project has a frequently updated
Facebook page(Anglo-Saxon CSI:Sittingbourne), and a Twitter account
with 50 followers in its first few weeks of existence, _at_CSIsitt.

Graham Voce
Executive Secretary
International Institute for Conservation
of Historic and Artistic Works
3, Birdcage Walk
London SW1H 9JJ UK
+44 20 7799 5500
Fax: +44 20 7799 4961

                  Conservation DistList Instance 26:29
                 Distributed: Monday, December 10, 2012
                       Message Id: cdl-26-29-002
Received on Monday, 10 December, 2012

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