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the online magazine No. 13, February 2010
Paradox of Choice
Conservation is, above all, about making decisions. In conservation, ideas, knowledge and decision-making are essential for good practice. After all, it is those decisions that have a deep implication in the future survival of a work of art. However, to make decisions requires not only experience but also information and time: time to imagine, time for reflection, time to find the most appropriate solution. The problem is that at the present current pace we no longer seem to have available that required time. Nowadays, information and time are deeply linked. Not long ago I was discussing with a friend about the difference between the newer and older generations of conservators. When we think more precisely about these differences, we find that before there was more time for reflection but limited access to information whilst today we virtually have access to any possible information source but quite limited time for its perusal. Bibliographic resources were once scarcer, as was also the access to scientific research. Today there are hundreds of books published in our field every year in both conservation and conservationscience areas. However, are we better conservators for this? Are we now able to make better decisions that will ensure the survival of works of art for future generations? The last decade and a half has been characterised by the boom of information technologies and the World Wide Web. In fact, today we have access to a potentially unfathomable amount of information like never before in the entire History of Man. Nevertheless, I believe we stay as ignorant as ever. Diderot once said that there would come a time “when it will be almost as difficult to learn anything from books as from the direct study of the whole universe”. Those times can’t be very far away anymore. Right now the problem is no longer if there is information about a certain issue, but how to find it. Information access is a real problem, for example, the search for a technical sheet of a product is probably as difficult as it was 20 years ago. Furthermore, I would argue about the validity of the information sources we use nowadays but that would digress to a whole new topic. Returning to the present, today we can hardly let a day pass without checking our email or doing some search on the internet. However, no actual useful information is necessarily being found in these ways. In the end we spend our time dealing with a lot of worthless information and we can often end up making decisions based on incomplete data which may be useless out of context. Even I usually thrive on more information, such as when I find a new website or book, however these tend to be equally and easily forgotten as soon as I discover yet another website or book. This ends up being like the paradox of choice: the more we have, the more confused we get. And we must confess that indeed the access to more information does not necessarily make us better professionals. This is the situation of today. But I wonder, what does the future reserve for us? Will we perhaps be more organised? Or will we just get more confused? So… wait and see.
Rui Bordalo Editor in Chief
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NEWS & VIEWS
The Application of Myth in Contemporary Ethnographic Conservation
By Daniel Cull
REVIEWS MATCONS 2009. Matter and Materials in/for Heritage Conservation
September 15-19, 2009, Craiova, Romania Review by Irina Crina Anca Sandu
COST Training School: Indoor Air Quality in Museums, Galleries and Archives
May 5-9, 2009, Vienna, Austria Review by Oana Chachula
The 15th International Heritage Show
November 5-8, 2009, Paris, France Review by Anca Nicolaescu
ANNOUNCEMENTS UPCOMING EVENTS
The “restoration” of the Turin Shroud: A Conservation and Scientific Disaster
by William Meacham
The Critical RH for the Appearance of “Bronze Disease” in Chloride Contaminated Copper and Copper Alloy Artefacts
by Alexios Papapelekanos
Aspects of the Scientific Research of the Historical Monument from Heresti, Romania
by Dragos Ene and Roxana Radvan
The Altar Frontal of the Church of Nossa Senhora da Piedade De Santarém
by Eva Armindo
The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Thomás Luis
by Filipa Raposo Cordeiro
news & view
THE APPLICATION OF MYTH IN CONTEMPORARY ETHNOGRAPHIC CONSERVATION
by Daniel Cull
Returning from the Canadian Conservation Institute’s ‘Symposium 2007’ I wrote a review in which, quoting from the program, I noted: “The symposium was organized using the traditional circle, described by Gilbert W. Whiteduck (Algonquin from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeq First Nation) as allowing for 'reflection, open dialogue, and consensus'.” 
“We must give each other the benefit of the doubt for honesty and good intentions. Consensus is not the same as majority rule; it’s not a competition. We are all working together to figure out the right thing to do”.  Returning to the organizational consultations for the Symposium, we can observe the same logic repeated, participants noted that the process created "a respectful environment [...] as well a common focus on the task at hand" , and that it was successful "despite the diverse backgrounds, pro-
However, it wasn’t until recently that I began to consider as significant the connection between the idea of consensus, noted in my review, and contemporary ethnographic conservation praxis; which is built on such theories as intangible cultural heritage and stewardship, and the practice of consultation. The conservation literature despite widely discussing consultation affords scant details to the process itself. However, it is clear that consultations do not follow established hierarchical decision making processes , and it is my contention that a modified form of consensus best fits the logic of such meetings. Consensus is a remarkably common system found amongst indigenous groups, the Quakers (Religious Society of Friends), alter-global activists and the feminist movement. Although the formalities vary, the concept of consensus could be summarized thus:
From 'Anarchism in Action: Methods, Tactics, Skills, and Ideas'. Second Edition. Complied and Edited by Shawn Ewald. http://aia.mahost.org/
fessions, and experiences of those in attendance" . In other words, creating an environment in which participants assumed good faith, and worked toward deciding what was the ‘right thing to do’, the meeting was more successful than it would have been had everyone come to push their own pre-set agendas. Consultations then are more than handing over conservation decision making to others, the real story is far more complex and nuanced, and although consultations do not exhibit any of the formal systems of consensus (blocks, stand asides, hand signals, etc), their underlying logic appear to align. Intriguingly they also both rely on myth creation for their success. Within activist forms of consensus “the conditions for moral transparency can only be maintained by a kind of make-believe”  such as the necessity of never casting doubt on others intentions, where as, in the consultation process make belief additionally plays out in the concept of stewardship; a mutually sustained myth in which legal positions of ownership are ignored in order to produce an environment of equality; mythical as consultations ultimately have to mesh with hierarchical superstructures of museum boards, tribal councils, etc. Conservation realizing that cultural objects are the result of social relationships, has undergone a readjustment towards an emphasis less on cultural artefacts and more on concern for living cultures; an act the situationists defined as a “search for lost unity” , in an interesting parallel consensus has been suggested as “a way of seeking commonality” . Contextually then in imagining consultation as a consensus process we can begin to (re)define conservation as facilitating the intense and ongoing (re)negotiation of social relationships surrounding material culture.
 D. Cull, "Preserving Aboriginal Heritage: Technical and Traditional Approaches: A Review", ICON News, Issue 13, November 2007, pp. 39 'Robert's Rules of Order', www.rulesonline.com  ‘Mark’, during a spokescouncil meeting in Burlington, April 17th 2001. Quoted in: David Graeber, Direct Action: An Ethnography, AK Press, Edinburgh and Oakland, 2009, pp. 123  Gilbert Whiteduck, in Preserving Aboriginal Heritage: Technical and Traditional Approaches, Proceedings of Symposium 2007, Ottawa, 24-28 September, 2007, Carole Dignard et al. (Eds.), Canadian Conservation Institute, 2008, pp. xv  J. Inch, in: Dignard et al., 2008, pp. vii  Graeber, 2009, pp. 331  G. Debord, Society of the Spectacle, Black and Red, Detroit, 1980, pp. 180  ‘Chris’ at a DAN facilitation training, Spring 2000. Quoted in: Graeber, 2009, pp. 304
Assistant Conservator The Musical Instrument Museum Website: http://dancull.wordpress.com Contact: email@example.com Daniel Cull is an ethnographic objects conservator, collaborator with e-conservation magazine, and a conservation blogger. He holds a BSc in Archaeology, an MA and MSc in Conservation, was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the National Museum of the American Indian/Smithsonian Institution, and currently works at the Musical Instrument Museum, Arizona.
MATCONS 2009 Matter and Materials in/for Heritage Conservation
Review by Irina Crina Anca Sandu
September 15-19, 2009, Craiova, Romania http://www.forummuzeulolteniei.ro Organisers and financial support: Dolj county Council, Museum of Oltenia and ICOM Romania, with the Conservation Institute from Copenhagen, Turin University, Craiova University and ICPI Bucharest
MATCONS 2009 was an important conference organised in Romania in the fall of 2009, that brought together experts from different areas of the conservation of cultural heritage and conservation science, both from Romanian and foreign institutions. The arrival, registration and accommodation of the participants were done on Monday, 14th of September and a welcome dinner was offered by the organisers at the Park Hotel Restaurant in Craiova. The conference was structured in morning and afternoon sessions, complemented by parallel events. Key lectures1 were given by renowned experts and specialists invited from abroad, such as Jan Wouters and Annemnie Adriaens from Belgium, Luigi Campanella, Maria Perla Colombini, Piero Baglioni, Lorena Botti and Matteo Placido from Italy, René Larsen from Denmark, Marianne Odlyha from England, Manfred Schreiner from Austria,
Andras Morgos from Japan, Jana Subic Prislan from Slovenia, Leonor Loureiro, Patricia Monteiro, Milene Gil and Irina Sandu from Portugal, etc. The parallel sessions were held at the Oltenia Museum Lecture Hall on 15, 16 and 17 of September. After the opening session, an interesting National Exhibition of Movable Cultural Heritage Restoration was inaugurated in the newly restructured building of the Museum. The conference registered 125 participants, from Romania and other countries, such as Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Ukraine, Slovenia and Japan. The Romanian participants came from all the regions of the country, being professionals from the national network of the Ministry of Culture and Cults, together with researchers and teachers performing activities related to the conservation of
1 Foreign specialists brought interesting contributions to
the conference, such as Dr. Jan Wouters ("Philosophies, instruments and networks aiming at a better understanding and conservation of cultural heritage"), Prof. René Larsen ("The IDAP Assessment Programme: Recent development and examples of its use in practice"), Dr. Annemie Adriaens ("The use of carboxylate coatings on lead as environmentally safe corrosion inhibition"), Prof. Piero Baglioni ("Conservation of cultural heritage: there is plenty of room for colloid sci-
ence"), Prof. Maria Perla Colombini ("Saving wall paintings: organic materials characterization and restoration processes"), Prof. Marianne Odyhla ("Understanding microclimates in museums and their impact on heritage materials"), Prof. Manfred Schreiner ("Non-destructive analysis for artifacts of parchment and paper"), Dr. Laura Botti et al. ("Photographic printing processes: studies and analysis"), Dr. Patricia Monteiro ("Portuguese treatises and their relevance to mural paintings"), etc.
Romanian cultural heritage. Besides the personnel from the Museum of Oltenia in Craiova, that brought a fundamental contribution to the organization of the conference, many specialists participated from museums all around the country. Romanian research institutions and universities were also represented, such as the National Research Institute for Conservation and Restoration (INCCR), the National Research and Development Institute (ICPE-CA), the National Research and Development Institute of Leather and Textile - ICPI Division in Bucharest and the Art and Design University in Cluj Napoca. The first session of lectures was introduced by Dr. Virgil Nitulescu, President of ICOM-Romania. His intervention focused on the actual situation of cultural heritage in Romania and on the educational system established for training conservators-restorers and conservation scientists. In this respect, the first invited speaker, Dr. Jan Wouters, re-created a panoramic view on the research in Europe in the field of heritage science and on the utility of conservation science for a better understanding and conservation of the cultural heritage. Prof. Marianne Odlyha from Birkbeck College presented the results reported from several European Commission projects: “Improved Damage Assessment of Parchment” (IDAP), “Monitoring of Damage of Historic Tapestries” (MODHT), “Improved Protection of Paintings during Exhibition, Storage and Transit” (PROPAINT) and “Sensor System to Detect Harmful Environments for Pipe Organs” (SENSORGAN). Prof. René Larsen illustrated some projects on the damage assessment of parchment in which a methodology for assessing the phenomena of physical deterioration and chemical degradation of parchment and leather fibers at microscopic level was applied.
Dr. Elena Badea and Prof. Giuseppe della Gatta form the University of Turin (Italy) gave an interesting lecture on the physical chemistry for preservation and conservation of historical parchments, speaking of the use of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), IR, UVVis spectroscopies, environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and atomic force microcopy (AFM) for the investigation of damages in archival parchments from the State archives of Turin, State Archives of Genova, State Archives of Florence, Historical Archives of Turin and National Archives of Stirling. Prof. Manfred Schreiner presented a transportable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer developed and assembled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in order to allow in situ examination of works of art in museums, libraries and in archaeological excavation sites. Few case studies in which this instrument was applied were also reported. Prof. Alessandro Vitale-Brovarone made a very interesting intervention about the history of the Turin’s university library and the attempt to restore parchments that were fire-damaged in 1904 during a project started at the end of the ‘90s and ended in 2004. Prof. Piero Baglioni underlined the importance and the role of Colloid Science in the conservation of cultural heritage, exemplifying with few case studies this kind of applications: nano-magnetic sponges and oil-in-water nano-containers for cleaning of works of art, nano-particles for wood and mural paintings conservation, nano-technologies for paper and canvas deacidification, etc. Prof. Maria Perla Colombini gave a very interesting lecture about the use of chromatographic mass spectrometric techniques (HPLC/MS, GC/MS, PyGC/MS, DEMS) for organic materials characteriza9
Monuments visited during the conference trip: Curtea de Arges, Monastery, early 16th century (left) and Prejmer medieval fortified church, 13th - 14th century (right).
tion in wall paintings and for a better choice of the intervention system. The conservation project of the wall paintings in “Camposanto monumentale” of Pisa (Italy) was presented on this occasion. Patricia Monteiro from the Faculty of Arts and Literature, University of Lisbon, spoke about the Portuguese treatises and their relevance to mural painting materials and techniques, considering also the difficulty in interpreting the information they contain. Among the Romanian lecturers a special mention should be done for Dr. Nicoleta Zagura, UNESCO expert, who spoke about the efforts done in Romania through the cultural association she founded - Art and Heritage UNESCO Club - to increase the interest and education about the local and internationally recognized heritage, and for Dr. Ioan Opris, eminent art historian, who has drawn the attention to the emergency strategy to be adopted for the preservation of the cultural heritage of Modern Romania. An interesting workshop on “Conservation and restoration of historical parchment and leather” was organized in the evenings of 15th and 16th, the participation being open to a certain number of conference participants and to the Romanian
specialists in conservation of archives and library materials. The organizers of this workshop were the University of Turin (Prof. Giuseppe della Gatta), the School of Conservation of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (Dr. René Larsen) and the National Research and Development Institute for Textile and Leather in Bucharest (Dr. Luminita Albu). The workshop had the objective to provide and update the picture of the chemical and physical nature of parchment as well as its ageing and deterioration processes caused by the environment. On 16 of September a final round table on the topic “Programs of research and training in the field of conservation and restoration of cultural heritage” was organized at the University House in Craiova, and coordinated by Prof. Radu Constantinescu from Romania and Prof. Giuseppe della Gatta from Italy. The participants discussed the topics of interest for a potential network to be established at European level and about funding opportunities in Romania and abroad. Poster session were also organized between the main sessions, giving place to debates, exchange of opinions and contact among the participants. The next three days were dedicated to visiting places with cultural and historical significance
from Romania, in a trip meant to illustrate the richness of the Romanian natural and cultural heritage in Transylvania region. After the closing of the conference, a short visit at the Monastery Curtea de Arges, famous historic monument part of the Romanian built heritage took place, and a traditional lunch in a Pilgrims’ guest house near the monastery was offered in the afternoon of 17 of September. Afterwards, a short visit was paid to the Ethnographic Museum in Campulung Muscel and in the evening the participants were housed at the Panicel guest house near Rasnov city, in the green heart of the Transylvanian Mountains. The day of 18 of September was dedicated to other visits to important monuments, such as the fortified church of Prejmer, Rasnov Fortress, Bran Castle and other museums and churches in Brasov county. The last day, the morning of 19 of September, was dedicated to the visit to Peles and Pelisor Palaces in Sinaia, former residences of the Royal family of Romania.
Last but not least we should mention the precious contribution given by the local organizing committee, formed by personnel from the Museum of Oltenia in Craiova (Tutu Barbulescu, SimonaVioleta Gheorghe, Rodica Florentina Opritescu, Alina Maria Garau, Anisoara Vatuiu, Leonard Ionescu, Cristina Stamate) whose dedication and hard work assured a fluent development of all the activities during the conference and the success of the wonderful trip to the important monuments in the Transylvanian Mountains, an emblematic region for the culture and history of Romania.
IRINA CRINA ANCA SANDU
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Irina Sandu (PhD) is an Assistant Researcher at the Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT) of the New University (UNL) in Lisbon, where she develops research for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage. She is the author / co-author of 12 monographs on conservation and more than 45 published papers, and was involved in 20 international research projects and scientific collaborations.
Participants to the conference hiking the hill to Rasnov fortress (13th - 14th century). Photo by Nicoleta Zagura.
COST TRAINING SCHOOL: INDOOR AIR QUALITY IN MUSEUMS, GALLERIES AND ARCHIVES Analytical Methods and Preventive Conservation Strategies
Review by Oana Chachula
May 5-9, 2009, Vienna, Austria Organiser: COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) http://www.cost.esf.org/
Between 5 and 9 May 2009 a new COST-sponsored training course took place in Vienna, within the frame of the COST Action D42 "EnviArt: Chemical Interactions between Cultural Artefacts and Indoor Environment". The workshop was organized by Dr. Erwin Rosenberg from the Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics, in collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Technisches Museum and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. The scope of this Training School was to address significant aspects of indoor air quality in relation to art objects exhibited or stored in museums, galleries and archives. The workshop gathered participants from diverse backgrounds and training, from both the academic and the conservation field, such as conservator-restorers, scientists, curators, chemists, physicists or biologists working in museums, collections or archives. The workshop brought together a total of 42 speakers and participants who came mostly from European countries but also from the USA. The training course was planned in such a way as to include both theoretical lectures and practical laboratory work, combined with site visits to some Viennese museums in order to demonstrate actual
problems, practices and possible solutions. A twoway approach to understanding these issues was adopted: on a theoretical level, analytical methods and preventive conservation strategies were discussed, and on a practical level, measurements of indoor air quality of museums or archives were undertaken. The programme was even more diverse, including visits to national and private museums and to laboratories and companies that provide services of conservation, exhibit or transport of art objects. The lectures proved to be extremely informative, speakers coming from various fields related to conservation of cultural heritage. Rene van Grieken, from Belgium, in his lecture “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust: the fate of all things? On indoor air pollution through particles” spoke about climate, humidity, temperature, light, air pollutants and gases from archives with a particular emphasis on how important preventive conservation is, namely by improving the environmental conditions (microclimate and chemical pollution) around the work of art. On the same line, discussions were continued by Dr. Dario Camuffo from Italy, who focused on the general interaction between environmental factors and works of art,
especially moisture, and the interaction of water molecules with the environment. Prof. Dr. Manfred Schreiner spoke about corrosion of glass and enamel artefacts and the influence that air quality has on this process. He focused on conservation problems and preventive conservation strategies of medieval stained glass, presenting six glass weathering theories. It appears that many museums around the world have similar problems related with indoor emissions, building materials, particle filtration or ventilation. For example, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art particles of Sodium Nitrate (NaNO3) have been detected in galleries, showcases and storerooms. Among the many actual problems related with air quality in museums and galleries, particles interaction is the least studied. However, even when the answer to such problems is not always easy to find, one possible solution would be a better air filtering.
Helene Tello, from the Ethnological Museum, National Museums Berlin, brought another issue into discussion, namely which are the best strategies and analytical methods to adopt for the use of biocides in ethnographic collections: the organic or the inorganic ones. She discussed their impact on collections and the arguments pro and against the non-destructive analytical methods and available technology. It was also underlined that attention must be directed to the impact biocides have on collection objects, but mostly on the human health. From Norway, Terje Grøntoft presented "Simple devices for monitoring and assessment of indoor air quality for museums, archives, and historic buildings" and did a demonstration of use of EWO dosimeters and monitoring concepts, dividing them into Continuous Monitoring (C), Online Monitoring (O), Active Measurements (A) and Passive Measurements (P). Next, the theoretical concepts were put into practice, participants being given the opportunity to test the equipment and learn how to interpret the results.
Group photo of TS participants at Artex company, Vienna. Photo by Valentina Ljubic from the Technisches Museum Wien.
A similar aspect was also addressed by Marianne Odlyha and C.Theodorakopoulos from Birkbeck College in London, UK, with a focus on the impact of indoor environments corrosivity on complex organic materials. Several practical examples were offered from the condition survey projects in museums from Norway, from the National Archives of Finland (István Kecskemeti, PhD), the State Archives of Genoa and Turin (Marianne Odlyha, PhD), the Technisches Museum Wien (Ing. Anita Preisler), or from churches (the Sistine Chapel in Rome and Santa Corona in Vicenza). On the protection of metal objects in storage, Martina Griesser-Stermscheg from the University of Applied Arts Vienna presented the conclusions of an experiment where several objects were kept in oxygen free packages and in packages with oxygen, and were compared with unpacked objects. After 5 years, the research showed that the oxygen-free packing is not recommended for metal objects, while packing with oxygen offers a good protection against oxidation and corrosion for objects of silver, gilded silver, copper, lead and steel. This application was put into practice at the research laboratories of University of Applied Arts Vienna in cooperation with the Scientific Laboratory of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. A very interesting intervention was done by Klaus Pokorny, who spoke about the lighting concept in museums and modern techniques used for lighting objects in the exhibition. He presented different approaches to lighting in three exhibition case studies from the National Portrait Gallery London, Museum Liaunig Carinthia and Technisches Museum Wien. The presentation was followed by a site visit to the Technisches Museum Wien where the integrated light, temperature and RH concept of the exhibition rooms were discussed.
Another interesting visit was made to the private company Artex Art Services from Vienna, where their current practice and modern technology to ensure optimal indoor air conditions for storage and transport of art objects was demonstrated. Other visits with practical applications were organized at the Michaelergruft, the Technisches Museum Wien and the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (NHM, Natural History Museum). This last, founded in 1858 at the behest of Emperor Franz Joseph I, possesses very valuable showcases that represent by themselves a quality of the museum. The necessity of preserving these original showcases dating from the 19th century was discussed, but also the methods of conserving the objects and organic materials therein. These issues were
Historic showcases at Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (Natural History Museum).
presented by Silvia Kalabis and Hans Reschreiter in the paper "The adaptation of the historical showcases in the prehistoric collection of the NHM". The visit to the Michaelergruft focused on the tombs located in the basement, and aimed to discuss the conservation methods of the coffins in their environment by reducing the humidity and temperature to order to prevent the development of molds and the degradation of the wood, the constituent material of the coffin. Dr. Alexandra Rainer, scientific advisor of the Michaelgruft, spoke about the historic, restorative and technological aspects of this case. Peter Brimblecombe from the Univerity of East Anglia showed in his presentation "Air chemistry and exchange with rooms and cases in a changing climate" that in general, visitors are one of the reasons for the presence of dust in galleries and of the increased level of temperature and humidity. In order to minimize the impact on the collections, the visitors should keep away from objects that are not protected by showcases, limiting the exposure to pollutants. At the same time, he spoke about a new challenge in terms of climate change, and about what damages can occur if global temperatures increase and if summers become significantly drier. He showed that degradation is strictly
connected to physical, chemical and biological processes. The Training Course was ended by a visit to the first villa of Austrian Art Noveau architect Otto Wagner that was restored in early 1970s by the renowned painter Ernst Fuchs. The artist saved it from being demolished and inaugurated in 1988 the “Ernst Fuchs private museum” that gathers a large collection of his works. After this 5-day workshop, we can conclude that it is for us all to assume responsibility for the protection of both the environment and the cultural heritage. Although there are many conservationscientists, few turn their attention to pollutants, a process that acts both from the outside and the inside. Situations may differ from one geographic region to another, but collaboration among specialists in various fields can help to better understand the degradation causes, mechanisms and effects that objects in collections are subjected to. Last but not least, as Dr. Erwin Rosenberg noted, our “methods, devices and materials need to be developed or further improved”. Therefore, we need to employ the best preservation strategies and conservation management methods that will help us find adequate solutions for each individual case.
Outer view of Otto Wagner's villa, now housing the Ernst Fuchs Museum (left) and one of the rooms in the museum, with paintings by the artist and the original Art Noveau stained glass windows. Photos by Erwin Rosenberg from the Vienna University of Technology.
Useful links: http://www.costd42.org http://www.technischesmuseum.at http://www.akbild.ac.at/.../restaurierung http://www.nhm-wien.ac.at http://www.khm.at http://www.iaq.dk
TS participants having an interesting discussion with Dr. Alexandra Rainer in the courtyard of the Michaelerchurch. Photo by Valentina Ljubic of the Technisches Museum Wien.
Conservation Scientist Contact: email@example.com National Museum of Romanian History / Centre of Research and Scientific Investigation Calea Victoriei, nr.12, S 3, 030026, Bucharest, Romania Oana Chachula, conservation scientist expert in biological investigations, graduated from the Faculty of Biology Al. I. Cuza, in Iasi (Romania) in 2002. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Animal Taxonomy field at Biology Faculty, University of Bucharest. She has been working at INCCR as a biologist for 3 years, her current work responsibilities including the biological investigation of movable objects and historical buildings.
Group photo by Miriam Bazán Castaneda.
THE 15th INTERNATIONAL HERITAGE SHOW
Review by Anca Nicolaescu
November 5-8, 2009 Paris, France Organiser: Ateliers d’Art de France http://www.patrimoineculturel.com
The 15th International Heritage Show took place at the beginning of November 2009 in the prestigious setting of the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris. The event brought together 250 international exhibitors (from France, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherland, Portugal, Russia and Spain) and around 20 000 visitors. This year, the International Show was for the first time organized by Ateliers d’Art de France1, which acquired the event in the spring of 2009. Each year, the show is focused on a new theme involving thus new exhibitors and visitors, new media and promotional input. This year’s topic was “The Heritage of Religions”. Embracing the topic, the exhibitors displayed their achievements in this area and offered their knowhow demonstrations to the visitors. Beside conservator-restorers, artists or craftsmen, the salon also hosted: suppliers of materials and products for movable or immovable assets or museum materials
and equipment; decision-makers and project managers (architects, entrepreneurs, trade organisations), training and education centres, universities or institutes; players in the New Technologies and suppliers of advanced materials (scientists, research centres, laboratories); publishers; local authorities, institutions and associations. The participants were gathered under the same goals in order to promote quality craftsmanship and expertise, to set up and develop meetings between conservators, craftsmen or artists and potential clients, and to present the various strategies regarding the spiritual and cultural heritage preservation and management. To have a real perception of the complexity of the salon, only the fields covered by exhibitors displaying a conservation-restoration activity, were varying from stained-glass windows, iron joinery, organs, old clock and bell mechanisms to ceramic and glass objects, furniture, textiles, leather, sculpture, frames, wall paintings and decorations and easel paintings. Almost anything one can connect with Religious Heritage in general!
1 Atelier d’Art de France is a French trade organization for
Crafts. Founded in 1868, it unites today 2,800 craft workers – whether they are craftsmen, artists or craft workshops – to lend them support and assistance towards their promotion and development.
For the orientation of the public throughout the salon spaces, depending on interest and also to ease the contacts exchange, the organizers provided a useful catalog with the participants’ profile and contact details. Walking into the fair, the visitors were first received by informational stands of institutions, associations or local authorities showing their past or current projects throughout images, movies or short presentations on this year’s theme. That was the perfect place for visitors or participants to make contacts for future partnerships in all kind of cultural related areas, or to get updated with the new strategies of cultural interest. Further on, the visitors were arriving in the section dedicated to publishers on art and culture, from printed magazines and online publications to specialized bookshops. Nearby, Art Schools, Institutes or Universities were presenting their offers and giving all the demanded details to students interested in courses and degrees in art and heritage conservation. Deeper in the Carrousel du Louvre was the “meltingpot” of the art and craft, conservation-restoration materials and equipment suppliers, where the exhibitors were giving demonstrations or
presenting samples of their work in stands resembling corners of studios. It was a very interesting set up of workshops and objects animated by artists or restorers ready to introduce you to their work or to answer your questions. Visitors were able to see component fragments of organ-pipes or even big brass bells, beautiful trompe l’oeil of marble and wood patterns, mosaic and frescoes fragments, religious furniture, jewels and so on, done with extraordinary craftsmanship. The religious heritage preservation is, actually, the best example where knowledge of old traditional techniques is very important for best conservation and restoration achievements. Therefore, this mixture of arts, old crafts and restoration presented at the fair was a good opportunity for meeting masters who keep the tradition alive and are willing to share details of their work with those interested.
Another interesting aspect of the event was the organization of discussion panels and seminars with the participation of international experts and specialists who informed the fair-going public about topical subjects related to the theme of the year, and debated heritage problems.The issues brought into discussion covered a wide thematic range such as: causes and consequences of the religious heritage destruction and degradation in history; the future of Europe’s religious heritage; religious patrimony and contemporary art or subjects regarding the advanced technologies in heritage conservation, to mention only few of them. It is difficult to encompass in a short review the complexity of this event with an immense area of interest and exhibitors. For five days I constantly went to Louvre’s Carrousel, willing to see and discuss with as many exhibitors as possible, but at the end I still had the feeling that I might have overlooked some stands. It was a huge concentration of interesting aspects of everything connected
with the fair’s subject – the Religious Heritage. The next edition, the 16th International Heritage Show, is already announced for 4-7 November 2010, focusing this time on “The Mediterranean Heritage”. I'm certain that it is definitely worth visiting it.
Conservator-Restorer Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Anca Nicolaescu (BA, MA) is a conservator of wall paintings, having coordinated various on-site conservation projects from Romania. Her work experience also includes international participation at conservation projects and seminars in UK, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Japan and India. She is one of the co-founders of Restauro Art Grup conservation company and of e-conservation magazine, where she presently works as an editor.
Photo by Serban Bonciocat
Photo by Mihaela Dumitru
Photo by Serban Bonciocat
SUPPORT THE ISTITUTO CENTRALE PER IL RESTAURO!
The Istituto Centrale per il Restauro (ICR, Central Institute for Restoration) was founded in 1939 in Rome and is one of the oldest institutions dedicated to the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage. ICR was recently renamed Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro (ISCR, the Higher Institute for the Conservation and Restoration) and in the end of the month (February 2010) will be forced to leave the historical premises of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome which it occupied since is foundation. According to Professor Mario Micheli, the precipitous transferral of the Institute could compromise the forthcoming and opportune reopening of the Restoration School, and weaken the efficiency of the Institute's technical-scientific structures, leading to its inevitable closure. In order to avoid this, an Open Letter to the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano was made available online in Italian and English at: http://www.gopetition.com/online/33441.html. e-conservation supports this appeal and asks its readers to consider signing this worthy action before the end of the month.
RESEARCH IN BOOK AND PAPER CONSERVATION IN EUROPE - a State of the Art -
Editor: Patricia Engel Publisher: Verlag Berger Publication date: November 2009 Pages: 328 (Paperback) ISBN: 978-3850284905 Language: English This recently published book makes a timely review of the research in the field of book and paper conservation in Europe. An overview of the state-of-the-art will assist paper conservatorrestorers in their practical work, providing upto-date information and results of conservationrestoration in books, prints, drawings and other artistic works on paper. The book aims to help in the decision making process not only the conservator-restorer, but also other key players in the field, such as authorities, politicians and collectors. Three main aspects of research are covered: basic research, applied research and experimental development in preservation and conservationrestoration of books and works on paper. The book is written in English because it aims to reach a pan-European audience, the problems and needs in conservation-restoration being basically the same, regardless of the geographic location.
NEW OPEN ACCESS PUBLICATIONS: A NEW DIRECTION IN CONSERVATION?
Two new open access journals dedicated to conservation of cultural heritage were launched at the end of 2009: “ecr – estudos de conservação e restauro” and “Ge-Conservación”. Not very long time ago there was a big void in our field concerning online publications. In 2007, when e-conservation magazine came online, we made a survey that showed that very few professionals heard of open access concept. Since then, we count at least 3 new publications, namely from Belgium, Spain and Portugal. It is with great pleasure that we welcome their advent on the internet, and witness perhaps the emergence of a new direction in the publication tary topics such as historic and artistic studies or of conservation resources: in electronic format production technologies and materials. and with free distribution. The first issue of the journal has been published Ecr – estudos de conservação e restauro (“studies online in December 2009 and can be consulted in conservation and restoration”) is a new Portu- at http://citar.artes.ucp.pt/ecr/. guese journal published annually in open access by CITAR (Research Center for Science and Techno- Ge-Conservación, Revista digital hispano-lusa de logy in Art) from the Portuguese Catholic Univer- conservación y restauración ("Hispano-Portuguese sity. The journal publishes peer reviewed articles, Digital Magazine of Conservation-Restoration"), news and reviews in Portuguese, Spanish and En- is the new publication of GEIIC (Grupo Español de glish. The journal is distributed under a Creative Conservación/Spanish Conservation Group of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic Commons license. Ecr defines itself as a publication wishing to become and Artistic Works), published in association with a reference not only on the Portuguese academic the Duques de Soria Foundation. The journal, also published once a year, is addressed scene but on international level as well through mainly to Spanish and Portuguese-speaking the dissemination of scientific research done in the field of conservation of cultural heritage. Ac- countries. Its aim is “to contribute to the scientific cording to its director, Ana Calvo, the publication development, dissemination and exchange of knowwas born following the establishment in 2002 of ledge in the field of cultural heritage conservation a course in conservation-restoration at the School and restoration”. The publishing areas include original academic research, significant case studies and of Arts from the Catholic University and aims to opinion articles. serve as an evaluation platform for the research developed therein. The journal will publish studies The 2009 issue of this journal was published in on material and technologic aspects of conserva- pdf format and is available to download from tion-restoration treatments, including complemen- http://ge-iic.com/revista/index.php?lang=en.
HAITI EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE
The recent earthquake that stroke Haiti on January 12, as immediately echoed all around the world, was truly devastating by any standards. Haiti’s cultural heritage was also deeply affected and requires urgent attention, but even now it is still difficult to assess the damages due to the collapse of the communication structure in Haiti. Continuous efforts are being made by ICOM through its Disaster Relief for Museums Task Force (DRFM), its Secretariat and its national committees to gather more data and to decide on the most appropriate actions to be taken. ICOM’s latest damage assessment report was made available on February 9. According to the limited information made public so far, several monuments and historic buildings have suffered severe damages and libraries and schools have collapsed or are in precarious condition. Fortunately, museum collections seem to have been less affected by the earthquake. Many institutions and organizations reacted immediately, helping the victims or contributing in any way possible to the relief activities. Any help is precious in the present condition, and the loss also depends on our efforts to salvage as soon as possible what is left from Haiti’s cultural heritage. The Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS) has launched on online call for conservator-restorers and other experts in the cultural heritage field to register as volunteers.
Haitian women amidst rubble in Port-au-Prince, January 20, 2010.
The News section is publishing diverse information on cultural heritage topics, such as on-site conservation projects reports, conferences, lectures, talks or workshops reviews, but also course reviews and any other kind of appropriate announcements. If you are involved in interesting projects and you want to share your experience with everybody else, please send us your news or announcements. For more details, such as deadlines and publication guidelines, please visit www.e-conservationline.com
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The events in this section are linked to the original homepage of the organisers or to the calendar of events at www.conservationevents.com. Click on "Read more..." to find out more details about each event.
IRUG9: 9th Biennial Conference of the Infrared and Raman Users Group
Date: 3-6 March Place: Buenos Aires, Argentina The IRUG biennial conferences offer an excellent opporRead more...
International Symposium on the future of Museum Climate March 2010
In the context of Global Climate Change and Energy Priority Date: 1 March Place: Copenhagen, Denmark How can we create exhibitions and expose our common cultural heritage in a sustainable way which is also acceptable for future generations? How can museums be run in a more CO2 neutral way while simultaneously guaranteeing an adequate indoor climate? These, and other crucial questions and issues, will be discussed and scrutinized during this one day symposium. Read more...
tunity for the exchange of scientific results and new developments in the application of infrared and Raman spectroscopy to the conservation and study of the cultural heritage. Attendees to these conferences are scientists, conservators, restorers, as well as curators within the art conservation and historic preservation fields interested in the application of IR and Raman spectroscopy to the study of materials used in art and archaeology.
The Fifth DOCAM Summit
Date: 3-5 March Place: Montreal, Canada The DOCAM (Documentation and Conservation of the Media Arts Heritage) Research Alliance invites submissions of abstracts for the presentation of papers at the 2010 DOCAM Summit, which will mark the end of five years of research. DOCAM is an international research alliance initiated by the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology. Its main objective is to develop new methodologies and tools to address the issues of preserving and documenting digital, technological, and electronic artworks. Read more...
Técnicas orientales aplicadas a la restauración del papel
Date: 2-5 March Place: Valencia, Spain Las técnicas orientales de manipulación y tratamiento del papel ofrecen al restaurador occidental una gama de alternativas técnicas extraordinariamente enriquecedoras, porque ofrecen respuestas diferentes a problemas comunes. En este curso, la restauradora Katarzyna Zych Zmuda, experta en este tipo de técnicas internacionalmente reconocida, enseñará a un grupo reducido de alumnos las técnicas más interesantes para el restaurador mediante demostraciones y prácticas guiadas desarrolladas en un laboratorio de restauración. Read more...
'Picasso, Materials, and Antibes' - Icon Paintings Group Talk
Date: 3 March Place: London, UK The ICON Paintings Group invite you to a talk given by Dr. Marilyn McCully, American art historian and exhibition organiser. She has a particular interest in Picasso's use of non-traditional materials, and in the ways in which art historians, conservators and scientists might most fruitfully collaborate on research. Read more...
Preserving the Memory of the World March 2010
Date: 12 March Place: Vancouver, Canada Read more...
Multidisciplinary Conservation: a Holistic View for Historic Interiors
Interim Meeting of Five ICOM-CC Working Groups Date: 23-26 March Read more...
Inspired by UNESCO's Memory of the World Program, the Association of Canadian Archivists UBC Student Chapter (ACA@UBC) is organizing a seminar and conference aimed to opening an interdisciplinary dialogue among the custodians of the world documentary heritage - librarians, archivists, documentalists and museum curators - and the users of such heritage.
Place: Rome, Italy The meeting will consist in three days of presentations. Sessions will be dedicated to the main theme of the event that highlights specific projects focussing on interdisciplinary approaches, historical and methodological aspects, environmental issues, conservation techniques, and guidelines for preventive conservation and maintenance. Each working group will also have the opportunity to present and discuss contributions and on-going research programmes related to its specific area of interest.
28th Annual Visual Resources Association Conference
Date: 17-20 March Place: Atlanta, USA General areas of this conference interest include, but are not limited to: digital photography; digital imaging and presentation technologies; strategic planning; cataloging and metadata (including non-western, non-art, and special topics cataloging); trend forecasting for the visual resources profession; copyright and fair use; user instruction; and professional status issues. Read more...
Course: Working with Plastics
Date: 23-25 March Place: Porto, Portugal Instructors: Thea van Oosten and Anna Laganà The main subject of this course is to acquaint you with the current state of knowledge regarding identification, degradation and conservation of plastics as used in cultural heritage. Read more...
Glass and Glazing in the 21st century Conservation in Focus 2010
Design & Preservation of Contemporary & Historic Architecture Date: 20-21 March Place: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA The 2 days intensive conference will focus on developments in architectural glasses for structural, energy saving, and decorative uses in new building facades/building envelopes and monuments, as well as their application in the restoration and upgrading of existing structures. Read more... Date: 24-26 March Place: Cardiff, Wales, UK The conference aims to advance and share knowledge about conservation issues in and beyond Icon's members and to have an enjoyable conference where people have time to talk and network. The first day will focus on the two themes 'evidence based decision making in conservation' and 'a sustainable future for UK conservation'. The second day will provide the opportunity for the Icon groups to host specialist half day seminars. Read more...
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Theoretic principles Art History, Iconography, Iconology, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Photography, Cultural Management, Museology, Computer Science, Legislation and Juridical Processes, Conservation Policies and any other field applied to Conservation and Restoration of works of art. Find out more:
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THE “RESTORATION” OF THE TURIN SHROUD: A CONSERVATION AND SCIENTIFIC DISASTER
by William Meacham
THE “RESTORATION” OF THE TURIN SHROUD
In 2002 the Shroud of Turin was subjected to a radical intervention aimed at ridding the relic of carbon dust and charred material said to pose a serious threat to the image. Patches that were applied in 1534 to cover holes from fire damage were removed. Vacuuming was done of portions of both sides, and other remedial measures were taken to optimise the appearance of the relic. This aggressive operation was in stark contrast with modern precepts of conservation, and resulted in important scientific data and heritage features being lost, along with great opportunities for sophisticated testing and sampling. The long-term negative impact of the intervention is feared to be substantial; the underlying premise, that the image was threatened, has been shown to be false.
Introduction Whether ancient or medieval, the Shroud of Turin poses one of the truly abiding mysteries of all archaeological and art historical artefacts. It is the world’s most famous textile, and probably also the most intensively studied object in existence, but how the image was formed on the cloth remains unclear. Crucial evidence however may have been destroyed in a “restoration” conducted in the summer of 2002. Unlike the restoration of the Sistine Chapel, over which there were sharply opposing views on the composition of the original work, the Shroud as an historical textile was well defined and the parameters of its on-going study quite clear. This unfortunate event dramatically illustrates the need for close collaboration between scientists, conservators/restorers and curators/ owners before initiating aggressive interventions on important archaeological objects. It may also become a classic illustration of things that should not be done. How It Happened For the millions who believed the Shroud of Turin might really be the burial cloth of Christ, October 13, 1988 was the turning point. The results of carbon dating a tiny sample from the edge of the linen sheet were released, and they seemed definitive: the date fell between 1260 and 1390 AD. For the academic world and the public at large, the relic
Figure 1. The Shroud image. The frontal image on the Shroud as first photographed in 1898. All rights reserved.
was deemed to be a fake from the Middle Ages, albeit a very strange one. Despite thousands of hours of scientific study, its image remained unexplained and was the subject of continuing controversy. In Italy, the general reaction was quite different; most people questioned the carbon dating method rather than the relic. Doubts were widely expressed about its reliability for this particular object. Many felt that its constant handling and exposure in churches would invalidate a carbon measurement; others felt the resurrection might have altered the Shroud's chemistry. Some even proposed a bizarre conspiracy theory, that a British Museum official had switched samples in order to discredit the Shroud . The then archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero, and his science adviser were crucified in the media for officially accepting the date, while maintaining at a press conference announcing the test results that the Shroud was still a mystery and a precious icon that should inspire reverence. Their uncritical acceptance of the date made it appear that the Church now believed that its Holy Shroud was a medieval forgery. The furor in Italy led Ballestrero to take early retirement the next year. His successor, Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini, declared that conservation would be the priority. He asked researchers to be “patient”, a term readily understood to mean that no new scientific studies would be approved for the foreseeable future. Indeed, none have been authorized up to the present. Saldarini brought together a group of five textile experts to advise on conservation, and this group was later formalized as the “Conservation Commission”. It began to address issues related to the optimum preservation of the cloth, one of the most important being how to protect it from Turin's air pollution. A few positive changes were made to the storage conditions, notably that the cloth would be kept
Figure 2. Shroud Face. Negative of the facial image. All rights reserved.
flat instead of rolled on a spool, and it would be kept at constant temperature and humidity in an atmosphere of inert gas, with less than 1% oxygen. A long flat case was specially constructed for this purpose. However, the Commission was quietly evolving into something very different, and was heading towards calamity. By 2000 only one of the five textile experts remained, and its membership now included several Turinese dignitaries and was chaired by a senior priest in the archdiocese, Mons. Ghiberti. An admixture of good intentions, opportunism and machiavellian scheming would soon lead the Commission down a very different path from that of passive preservation favoured by most modern conservators for very important objects. In a high and deeply regrettable irony, this “Conservation Commission” would wreak havoc on the Shroud.
THE “RESTORATION” OF THE TURIN SHROUD
A new archbishop of Turin was appointed in 1999. Cardinal Severino Poletto is an outgoing and affable man, with mediocre educational background. I first met him at a “conference of world experts” sponsored by the Turin archdiocese in March, 2000, at a villa outside the city. I came away with the strong feeling that Poletto was dynamic and we would soon see further testing of the cloth, particularly a second round of carbon dating. Never in a million years could I or anyone else involved with the Shroud have imagined what was to come. The truly memorable moment during this conference was a visit to the Turin Cathedral. Poletto met us in the nave and ushered us into a sideroom. It was a heart-stopping moment. There, mounted on a long board at eye level was the famous relic, free of its usual glass display case, and naturally lit from windows high up in the room. A red velvet cordon about three feet away was all that separated us from the relic. My attention shifted back and forth between the bloodstains and the fainter body image, as archaeological and historical curiosity about this intriguing object intermingled with feelings of awe. This contemplation was interrupted after a while when Poletto and a gaggle of people around him moved up to the cordon. Suddenly, a flash bulb went off and I turned around to see a fellow in a baggy suit holding an old-fashioned press camera with large flash attachment. Horrified, I went over to Prof. Alan Adler, the only American member of the Conservation Commission, and asked him how in the world they could be using flash photography. He shrugged his shoulders, saying it was the official archdiocese photographer. I asked him to try to stop it, but he replied there was no way he was going to interfere, as this viewing was very special. It was surprising that this simple issue had not been considered beforehand and did not
seem to bother anyone else. A tripod-mounted camera and fast film would have given perfectly good photographs without the use of a flash, and would have spared the cloth that extra unnecessary exposure to light. Worse was to come. A delegate was energetically pointing out some feature on the Shroud to Poletto, and they both stepped over the cordon to get a closer view. The delegate suddenly pulled out his ballpoint pen and pointed at the feature. The tip of the pen was less than an inch away from the surface of the cloth. Aghast, I started to intervene, when he lowered the pen. Several other people were watching the proceedings, and no one seemed bothered by the fact that a possible ink stain had been a slight tremble away. When it is recalled that many archives do not even allow ink pens of any kind to be brought inside, one can only shudder at how poor the state of conservation awareness was in Turin. Yet another conservation issue was raised by American scientist John Jackson after the visit. He had a particular interest in the old creases and “foldmark patterns” (as he calls them) preserved on the Shroud, and he was very upset over how the cloth was stretched on the board. It was so taut that hardly any of the creases could be seen. He raised the issue at the final plenary session of the congress, saying: “I can state that storing the Shroud in this condition for a long period of time will destroy forever the precious fold mark pattern, if it has not already done so”. The response from Commission members was that the mounting on the board was only a temporary arrangement. This apparently was not true. In an article published later by the same individuals it was stated that, unlike in the past “the Shroud was [now] stretched and fixed in a practically definitive position” . In retrospect, these conservation issues were very bad omens.
“The Shroud has been restored” Indeed, a major catastrophe was about to befall the Shroud. Totally unbeknownst to anyone outside a small circle in Turin, an aggressive, invasive operation officially termed a “restoration” was being planned. The work was finally carried out in secret during June and July of 2002. But word leaked out, and in August a Rome newspaper ran a story by its Vatican reporter that the Shroud had undergone a radical intervention . As details emerged from the Turin archdiocese, it was confirmed that patches covering the 1532 fire damage and a backing cloth added at that time had been removed, and “dusts and residues” had been cleared away. People were shocked, unable to believe that such an invasive procedure could have been allowed to take place, since there had been so much emphasis in recent decades on the need for non-intrusive, non-destructive testing. While very little of this news was carried by international agencies, the press in Italy was buzzing with stories, speculation and debate about what had been done to the Shroud. A very senior political and academic figure, Francesco Sisinni, wrote an important piece asking: “Did this important object, on whose material and historical authenticity scholars from every part of the world have worked tirelessly, and, above all, in front of which millions of faithful from all over the world have kneeled, really need to have undergone such a massive intervention?” . Turin was clearly on the defensive, and announced that all would be explained at a press conference in mid-September, at which time photographs of the “restored” Shroud would be available. Jackson circulated an email with very powerful criticisms, pointing out that “it is essential that scientific information resident on the Shroud be preserved. The only people qualified to know what
that information is are people who have spent years, if not their lifetimes, thinking about the Shroud in a scientific sense”. It was increasingly clear that there had been no outside consultation or peer review of this intervention. An American textile chemist and original member of the Conservation Commission, Jan Cardamone, was surprised and shocked at the news. Textile conservator Sheila Landi of England, also an original member of the Commission, had the same reaction. Even two textile specialists resident in Turin and well acquainted with the Shroud were not consulted. It transpired that the one textile expert left on the Commission was the person who had carried out the work. Rumor had it that she and Ghiberti had become the dominant force within the Commission. According to Landi, who attended several meetings in the 1990s, the atmosphere was characterized increasingly by manipulation: “All they wanted was people who said what they wanted to hear” . This led to Landi's decision to withdraw in 1997. Jan Cardamone remained available but was not invited to attend further meetings. It is not clear what happened to the two Italian textile conservators, but by 1999 the Swiss Mechthild Flury-Lemberg was the only textile expert left in the group. This may have been as in the Chinese saying, “one mountain can only have one tiger”. Other individuals with close links to the inner circle around Poletto were recruited onto the Commission, from fields totally unrelated to textiles or conservation. Flury-Lemberg is a soft spoken woman, and an oldstyle restorer with a Teutonic inclination for neatness. It is unclear to what degree she persuaded others of the need for “restoration,” but one observer remarked that it was a good thing that there was no articulate dry cleaner on the Commission. She believed in her methods, of course, and a large portion of responsibility lies with the other meme-conser vation
THE “RESTORATION” OF THE TURIN SHROUD
Figure 3. Madame Flury-Lemberg at work on the “restoration” of the Shroud (photo courtesy of Telesubalpina TV, all rights reserved).
bers of the Commission and those in the Vatican who did not seek any outside advice. Poletto was clearly disturbed by the raging controversy, and invited the delegates from the 2000 Turin conference for a private viewing of the “restored Shroud”, followed by a press conference the next day. Both events followed the same script: opening remarks by Poletto and Ghiberti preceded the main presentation by the scientific adviser, Prof. Savarino. His case was most unconvincing, especially his casual summation: “The Shroud was filthy. I certainly wouldn't sleep in a sheet in that condition”. At this there was a smattering of nervous laughter, but most did not know whether to laugh or cry. To the layman, and obviously to the aggressive restorer as well, cleaning must seem a good
and necessary thing. Some conservators have said that “dirt is not the problem, cleaning is the problem”. Often it is not even attempted. Another remark by Savarino was equally shocking. He said that an effort was made to smooth out the creases, but “unfortunately it was not entirely successful”. I repeated his Italian word purtroppo (unfortunately) out loud with the inflection of a question, and he nodded. He apparently was unaware of their possible historical value. The “restoration” of the Shroud was diametrically opposed to modern textile conservation practices, as for example described by Orlofsky and Trupin . The cloth was handled every day for a month without gloves; no gowns, lab coats or hair nets were worn; no clean room controls were instituted;
visitors, photographers, teams of technicians and TV crews trooped through; the cloth was illuminated by lamps without filters, shining for long periods directly on the cloth at close range; the relic was subjected to considerable stresses in the removal of patches and backing cloth, and addition of a new backing cloth. Furthermore, the operation was not a true restoration back to original either, but a series of radical, invasive alterations and cleaning operations for cosmetic and misinformed conservation purposes. Even if the cloth were a proven medieval relic, with no image at all, the 1534 repairs should have been retained. Flury-Lemberg commented on this issue in very strange terms: “The conservation [work] of the poor Clare sisters from 1534 is certainly of historical interest and therefore needs to be analysed and noted for future research, but it does not present a value in its own right. The same is true for the conservation measures of 2002”.  It is very surprising to have repairs nearly five hundred years old equated with those done a few years ago. The patches and backing cloth were visible elements of a rich heritage that had intrinsic value as part of the history and commonly recognized identity of the relic. It was recorded that the nuns carried out the mending of the precious relic after the fire of 1532 with great reverence and care, praying as they worked. Old additions to or repairs of an object become part of the object to be preserved unless 1) they pose a definite threat to it, or 2) they seriously detract from the appreciation of the original. There would be little disagreement among conservators on this point. It would be a very foolish conservator who would erase medieval graffiti from a Roman temple in the name of return to the original. Even on cosmetic criteria, retention of the patches would have been sensible; FluryLemberg herself wrote that the patches covered “big ugly holes left by the fire”. 
The argument has been made before that even with a backing cloth on the Shroud it was hazardous to mount the relic in a vertical position for display. As the Shroud is now stored laid out flat in a glass case, this would also be the best manner to exhibit it according to Cardamone, i.e. with observers moving around it in small groups, or on a walkway above it. To remove the existing backing cloth only to replace it with another seems to be the height of folly, and no real advance on the repair work of 1534. Further, the whiteness of this new lining detracts from the image. The eye is struck by the stark contrast of white spots (lining visible through the holes) on straw coloured ground (the Shroud) that makes the sepia body image seem even more faint. To compare the Shroud before and after, see www.shroud.com/examine.htm. In the months following the unveiling, a consensus of critique took shape. The main points were: 1) that the patches had been piously sewn on 450 years ago (according to legend the nuns who sewed them used golden needles and maintained constant prayer during the work) and thus constituted part of the Shroud's heritage; 2) that scientific data had been lost due to poor planning and/or ignorance; 3) that opportunities for sophisticated scientific research were squandered; and 4) that great stresses were put on the cloth during the month-long handling, unstitching and restitching, and exposure to lights. In 2003, comments from prominent Shroud researchers began to be posted on www.shroud.com/ restored.htm, and most were scathing. Ray Rogers, a nationally prominent chemist formerly with Los Alamos National Laboratory, declared “as a result of the restoration... a large amount of potentially critical information has been lost forever”. Paul Maloney, archaeologist, stated his virtual certainty that the restoration was unnecessary. Dr. Frederick
THE “RESTORATION” OF THE TURIN SHROUD
Zugibe, former Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County NY, expressed chagrin that the restorers did not wear gloves and dust-free clothing. In an email Rogers stated he believed that the action would go down in history as “Poletto’s desecration”. Flury-Lemberg  published a coffee table book about the work in which a spirited defence was mounted, claiming that the Shroud was threatened by a process of progressive weakening and loss around the charred areas, and by oxidation due to the carbon dust particles spreading through the cloth. The problem for these claims was that the chemical processes she feared were unknown to science . And the extensive photographic record since 1898 did not reveal one iota of evidence for any loss of fabric around the char. Such claims would not have survived the standard procedure of evaluation by peer review, but this was not done since the plan to conduct radical surgery on the relic had been kept a jealously guarded secret.
Data Lost Ever since the first scientific examination of the Shroud in 1933, there has been a great and entirely proper emphasis on non-invasive techniques. Modern conservation shares this emphasis, as noted above, and for important archaeological objects there would be extreme reluctance to employ invasive methods, e.g. for cleaning, that would put information at risk. Ideally, there should be close collaboration between the archaeologist or museum curator and the conservator. In the case of the Shroud, this should have meant direct consultation with the experts from various fields who have studied the cloth and know the types of data it contains, and most importantly, how this data needs to be collected, extracted or preserved. Savarino stated at the unveiling in Turin that “nothing was lost or thrown away, everything was kept”. I tried in the space of about two minutes to ex-
Figure 4. Vacuuming. Vacuuming of dirt and carbon dust. (photo courtesy of Telesubalpina TV, all rights reserved).
plain to him why it is not simply retaining every particle of debris and dust that is important, but it is above all the structure of the evidence that must not be lost, and that the manner in which samples are collected is vital. It would be useless for example to present an archaeologist with all the objects from a site in a giant bag, with all stratigraphic and contextual information lost. During this “restoration” of the Shroud we are told that the debris and dust was collected and saved “in more than 30 glass containers”. This makes it clear that a tremendous amount of information has been lost, since all 25 burn holes under the patches plus the four sets of “poker holes” were scraped and vacuumed, front and back. There should have been several hundred divisions of this material for rigorous study. To cite an example, pollen from the Middle East has been identified from the Shroud, apparently in small clusters, but previous collection techniques have been faulty. Other particulate material – plant and insect debris, traces of natron, aloes, etc. – has also been identified as important for study. And yet, the vacuuming was done all around the edges of the burn holes, with no microscopic search of the areas carried out beforehand. Micro-remains
that could have been identified and extracted by micromanipulator with precise provenance were instead aspirated into the container along with all the other debris from that general area. Worse still is the destruction of the charred edges of the burn holes. Here the structure of evidence is crucial, and it was deliberately reduced to fluff. The Commission was said to have decided that no cutting would take place, and this would have moderated somewhat the loss of data if that decision had been strictly adhered to, and only loose particles were aspirated away. It was thus shocking to discover that intact segments between small holes or around the edges of larger holes had gone. Ghiberti wrote: “Cutting away the charred parts to get back to the undamaged cloth would have produced an unnatural and devastating effect. It was decided to use tweezers to remove material which tended to give way when pulled and to reach the brownish borders ...”  This is a new method for preserving ancient textiles – material which tends to “give way” when pulled is removed! A photograph in Flury-Lemberg’s book shows a scraping tool lying beside a pile of tiny bits of charred fibre in front of the “brownish border”
Figure 5 a, b and c. Before and After. On the left are X-rays taken in 1978, showing the burnholes under three of the patches. On the right are the shapes of the holes after 'restoration' (X-rays courtesy of William Mottern, all rights reserved).
THE “RESTORATION” OF THE TURIN SHROUD
Figure 6. Pokerholes in 1978. The uppermost set of ‘pokerholes’ as photographed in 1978 (copyright Barrie Schwortz, all rights reserved). Figure 7. The uppermost set of 'pokerholes' being scraped. The edges of the ‘pokerholes’ being scraped clean of char in 2002 (photo courtesy of Telesubalpina TV, all rights reserved).
which had become the new man-made edge of the burn hole. When this slide was shown at the unveiling its effect was “devastating”. Unfortunately, instead of cutting, the “restorers” chose to scrape away several dozen square centimetres of charred cloth around the edges of the burn holes. Since they wanted the frayed look, it would have been better for science if they had cut the small segment first, and then done the scraping. The invasive (some would say “brutal”) nature of this operation was seen painfully clearly in a programme on Italian television which shows a few seconds of scraping around one of the so-called “poker holes” – small burns which pre-date the 1532 fire. This clip can be seen at www.hku.hk/ hkprehis/shrdvid2.htm along with other clips showing the unnecessary exposure to light and constant touching of the cloth during the “restoration”. These small so-called “poker holes” for example are often thought to have been the result of burning pitch or some acidic substance being dropped onto the folded cloth and eating through four layers. Any residues that might have remained on the inner edges of the holes is now dust residing in a container, the structure of their original in situ deposit destroyed. There is another category of evidence that might have existed in situ in the charred material at the edges of the burn holes that was scraped away and pulverized. The intersection of the body image and bloodstains with the charred area was, in the view of several scientists, crucial for the future study of those phenomena, especially if any paint, pigment or other substance was used to create or touchup the body image or bloodstain. The physical and chemical changes that the deposits would have undergone in the thermal gradient from light scorch to char is most important, and diagnostic pyrolysis products might have remained in trace amounts. Whatever evidence there was
is now jumbled together with the carbon dust and bits of fibre. Rogers termed this “a terrible, discouraging loss”. To make matters worse, Savarino relates without comment that certain scientific measurements were made on the underside – reflectance, fluorescence and Raman spectra – but after the carbonized deposits and brittle brown fibres around the edges of the holes had been scraped away. There are several other types of data that have been lost. One is the particulate evidence on narrow ledges of cloth beneath the patches that were effectively sealed since 1534. There was general vacuuming and mixing of material from the sealed and adjacent open areas. The ultrasonic vaporizer (mentioned by Ghiberti) may have disturbed and dispersed particulate deposits. Sophisticated measurements should have been made to compare the degree of oxidation of the linen in and outside the sealed areas, and on the underside of the cloth, to quantify how much the exposed area has degraded due to exposure to light during the last 468 years. Finally, there are old fold marks and creases, important for studying how the Shroud was stored in earlier times. One prominent crease below the neck area is believed by some to date to the 7th century, from similar lines in an image thought to have been copied from the Shroud. As noted above, during the “restoration” an attempt was made to smooth these creases by applying weights onto the cloth; the creases were said only to have been “eased” and remain visible. But new sewing on each of the burn holes puts different tensions on the cloth, as does its new flat storage, and many of the old weaker creases may not be visible for much longer. Shockingly, an important point where an old crease ran under a patch and into a brittle charred area, indicating that the crease pre-dated the 1532 fire, was scraped away.
THE “RESTORATION” OF THE TURIN SHROUD
Damage to the Relic? Of infinitely greater danger to the Shroud than its carbon dust, the invasive “restoration” put enormous stresses on the cloth, even with all the care in the world in handling it. It has often been remarked that ancient objects will last for centuries to come if we can just keep our hands off them. Through all of its known history prior to 2002, the Shroud has benefited from the conservative nature of the church hierarchy towards relics; it was seldom exhibited in public, the cloth was stored in a container in the dark, and handling has been minimal. These are very good historical conditions for the preservation of a textile. Alas, the temptation to improve or set things right
is difficult to resist. The director of the Vatican Museum reportedly remarked in relation to the Sistine Chapel restoration: “We could not resist the temptation to go ahead with it” [cited in 10]. The lighting has been mentioned above. Apparently, ordinary desk lamps without filters were used at very close range, ca 30 to 40 cm. Instead of being bounced off walls or ceiling, the lighting was aimed directly at the cloth. Close flash photography may also have been done. Light is of course a great danger to the preservation of any historic textile, and especially for the Shroud whose image consists of advanced yellowing and degradation similar to that produced by aging. One can only wonder to what degree the non-image surface fibres have
Figure 8. Ghiberti. Mons. Ghiberti, chairman of the Conservation Commission, speaking on Italian television with the Shroud laid out in the background (photo courtesy of Telesubalpina TV, all rights reserved).
been further aged by this month-long illumination. It was thus extremely painful to watch Ghiberti, as chairman of the Conservation Commission, giving a television interview in front of the Shroud, while a lamp shines on the cloth unattended. He was speaking about the measures then being taken to conserve the Shroud. Another danger may be posed by the new backing cloth. It was said to have been washed to de-size and soften, and tested for chemical residues by Savarino, but no other information is given. How sensitive were the tests, and for what chemicals? Flury-Lemberg writes that the cloth had not been bleached, but Cardamone believed that the new backing cloth could be a bleached cotton, as there were small black specks or “neps” present (a nep is a small knot of entangled fibres). Introduction of a new material of whatever type, whether free of bleach and sizing or not, introduces new impurities and constitutes a radical change that may have an unforeseen impact on the relic over time. The greatest damage may come from handling without gloves. From the video clips that are available, it appears that the cloth was touched thousands upon thousands of times during the course of the “restoration”. Flury-Lemberg responded to criticism of this fact thus: “Anyone who has held these fine silk organzine threads and the corresponding needles in their hands will understand immediately that we could not wear gloves for the needlework. […] If the restorer cannot feel what he is doing with his fingertips he cannot do a good job”.  While this could be a strong argument for keeping restorers well away from any historic textile, one can only wonder if sewing really does require more sense of touch than brain surgery. Dr. Frederick Zugibe, medical examiner for 30 years in New York, wrote: “I stressed the fact that there was no excuse for not wearing fine surgical gloves because
even eye surgeons and micro surgeons wear them during extremely delicate surgical operations” . The argument for sensitivity does not explain why the cloth was touched innumerable times simply to provide pressure, and during the vacuuming. Several close-up photographs and video clips reveal fingers constantly being placed on the cloth to hold it steady. If bare hands were truly required for stitching, one wonders if any consideration (impact assessment) was given to the risk that this might pose in the long term. Most of the sewing was for mounting the new backing cloth, which as we have seen was not urgently required and could have been dispensed with altogether. Textile experts advise that gloves should be worn when handling any important or historic textile. The Institute of Conservation (ICON) recommends: “Wear fine cotton or thin vinyl gloves when handling or touching the textile and remove jewellery that may snag” . In a factsheet published in 2001, the Scottish Museums Council warned: “Damage from touching however is usually gradual over time. Textiles absorb salts and fatty substances from skin and eventually they discolour, stiffen and weaken fibres.” . In 1978, the scientists involved in the study of the cloth were required to wear cotton gloves.The 2002 “restoration” would thus represent a regression in this regard. It is certainly true that the Shroud has often been handled throughout its history, but that fact cannot justify continued barehanded touching today when the contamination effects are known. It is quite possible that the Shroud was touched more times by bare hands, and exposed to more light, in one month of 2002 than in its entire history as a relic. The devout nuns in 1534 were careful to preserve every part of the precious cloth, even blackened remnants protruding into ugly holes. The 2002 “restoration” was, alas, a regression in this regard as well.
THE “RESTORATION” OF THE TURIN SHROUD
Conclusions Nothing can insure that any object or the information it contains will survive, but conservation parameters are well known. Many of these were violated in the ill-considered “restoration” of the Shroud. The image on the Shroud presents a unique and very complicated conservation challenge, and it can only be met by the highest standard of scientific collaboration. This needs to be addressed in a methodical, scientific manner, subject to rigorous peer-review at an international level. Deep concerns over the “restoration” led a group of 52 Shroud researchers to petition the Vatican in 2006. They requested that “an international commission of respected scientists and other knowledgeable persons be appointed, to advise on all matters relevant to the Shroud’s conservation, scientific testing and long-term preservation as an object of study”. It was suggested that representatives of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Vatican Museum be included. There was no response to the petition. Seeking to justify the aggressive “restoration”, FluryLemberg cited the words of the late Prof. Adler: “If we are remiss in undertaking conservation/ preservation studies and measures on the Shroud of Turin, future generations will have every right to castigate us for failing to meet our responsibilities. History will not be kind to us” . Sadly, his words were not heeded, the studies were not undertaken, and history will indeed not be kind to those responsible. Acknowledgments Aldo Guerreschi for Figure 1; Telesubalpina TV for Figures 3, 4, 7 and 8: Barrie Schwortz for Figure 6; William Mottern for the x-ray photographs in Figure 5.
References  B. Bonnet-Eymard, "The Holy Shroud Of Turin, Silent Witness In Preparation For A Centenary (1898 - 1998)", The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 20th century, Paris, 1997  G.M. Zaccone and B.Barberis, “The new measurements of the Shroud”, in M. FluryLemberg, Sindone 2002, L'intervento conservativo, Preservation, Konservierung, Editrice ODPF, Turin, 2003  O. Petrosillo, “The Shroud has been changed: the secret operation from June 20 to July 22”, Il Messagero, August 10, 2002 [in Italian]  F. Sisinni, “The Shroud is a unique object to be conserved in its integrity”, Il Tempo, August 11, 2002 [in Italian]  S. Landi, personal communication, August 20, 2002  P. Orlofsky and D. L. Trupin, “The role of connoisseurship in determining the textile conservator's treatment options”, Journal of the American Institute of Conservation 32, no. 2, 1993, pp. 109-118  M. Flury-Lemberg, Sindone 2002, L'intervento conservativo, Preservation, Konservierung, Editrice ODPF, Turin, 2003  R. Rogers, “The chemistry of autocatalytic processes in the context of the Shroud of Turin”, www.shroud.com/pdfs/rogers3.pdf (accessed on December 28, 2009)  G. Ghiberti, Sindone le immagini 2002 Shroud images, Editrice ODPF, Turin, 2002
 J. Beck, Art Restoration: The Culture, the Business, the Scandal, W.W. Norton, New York, 1996  F. Zugibe, “Comments”, www.shroud.com/ restored.htm (accessed on December 28, 2009)  Institute of Conservation (ICON), “Care and conservation of costume and textiles”, www.icon.org.uk/images/stories/costume.pdf (accessed on January 31, 2010)  Scottish Museums Council, “Caring for Textile Collections in Museums”, discontinued, but still available at http://web.archive.org/web/*/ www.scottishmuseums.org.uk/pdfs/Factsheet_ textiles.PDF  A. Adler, “Conservation and preservation of the Shroud of Turin”, Shroud Spectrum International, no. 40, 1991, pp. 2-6
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
e-conservation magazine is open to submission of articles on a wide range of relevant topics for the cultural heritage sector. Next deadlines for article submission are: for Issue 14, April 2010 – submissions due 1st March 2010 for Issue 15, June 2010 – submissions due 1st May 2010 Nevertheless, you can always submit your manuscript when it is ready. Between the receival of the manuscript until the final publication may pass up to 3 months according with: - the number of the manuscripts on hold, submitted earlier by other authors - the release date of the upcoming issue - the pre-allocated space in the magazine to each section Please check our publication guidelines for more information.
Archaeologist Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org William Meacham is an American archaeologist resident in Hong Kong since 1970. He has conducted numerous excavations in Hong Kong and Macau, and written widely on South China prehistory, in particular on the origins of the Austronesians. In 1983 he published a major study of the Turin Shroud in the renowned journal Current Anthropology, and in 1986 was appointed by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to a commission to advise on carbon dating the Shroud. He was one of 20 foreign experts invited by the Archbishop of Turin to the unveiling of the “new-look” Shroud in 2002. In 2005 he published The Rape of the Turin Shroud detailing the twin fiascos of carbon dating and “restoration” carried out on the relic in recent years.
THE CRITICAL RH FOR THE APPEARANCE OF “BRONZE DISEASE” IN CHLORIDE CONTAMINATED COPPER AND COPPER ALLOY ARTEFACTS
by Alexios Papapelekanos
Copper (Cu) and cuprous chloride (CuCl) powders were used to establish the critical RH value that CuCl transforms into copper trihydroxychlorides, the corrosion products of the so-called “Bronze Disease”. XRD analysis of the tested samples showed that the rate of transformation is fast above the deliquescence point of CuCl (68.4% RH at 19.4º C) but very slow below it. The critical RH value for CuCl transformation was found to be at 63% RH. However, subtle variables such as air movement, composition of samples and type of substrate may result in the depression of the RH value that this transformation occurs. Nevertheless, the results of this study suggest that copper artefacts would be safe from the occurrence of “Bronze Disease” in the ambient museum environment (45-60% RH), provided that the upper limit is not exceeded. More experimental data are needed to clarify the above suggestions.
Introduction Corrosion of metallic artefacts in the museum environment Archaeological metallic artefacts are susceptible to accelerated corrosion reactions once they are excavated and exposed to adverse environmental conditions. High Relative Humidity (RH) levels in a museum environment combined with high pollutant concentrations increase the corrosion rate of metals . Archaeological metals can also become heavily contaminated with salts from the burial environment and the most well known examples are chloride contamination of iron and copper (see equation 1). Iron artefacts contaminated with ferrous chloride may be subject to physical and chemical damage from cyclic corrosion reactions  and a similar phenomenon is noted from the oxidation and hydrolysis of cuprous chloride (CuCl) contaminated copper artefacts . “Bronze disease” The term “bronze disease” is used in conservation literature to describe the oxidation and hydrolysis of CuCl into copper trihydroxychlorides: Cu + Cl- = CuCl + e- (1) 4CuCl(s) + O2(g)+ 4H2O = 2Cu2(OH)3Cl(s) + 2H+(aq) + 2Cl-(aq) (2) It is generally accepted that formation of HCl is an important parameter of the corrosion reactions and that HCl in turn attacks copper to form more CuCl : 2HCl + 2Cu = 2CuCl + H2 (3)
ure 1 along with the relative thickness of the corrosion products. First there is the metal; then the CuCl layer, followed by the cuprous oxide (Cu2O) layer and on top cupric salts are formed .
Figure 1. Common corrosion product layers found in copper and copper alloy artefacts from a burial environment (after Payer et al., 1995).
“Bronze disease” ensues when the corrosion layers overlaying the CuCl are disturbed with oxygen and moisture oxidizing and hydrolyzing the CuCl according to equation (2). This corrosion mechanism is so quick that the CuCl layer transforms into loose and powdery copper trihydroxychlorides that cause major mechanical disruption to the stable Cu2O patina (figure 2).
Figure 2. Photograph and microphotographs of the action of 'Bronze Disease' on a copper coin; (Bruce Nesset© 2006, All Rights Reserved).
Historical background of “bronze disease” – Suggestions for environmental control Rosenberg  was the first to recognize that oxygen and moisture is required for “bronze disease” to develop. He experimented with a series of saturated salt solutions giving a range of different RHs and he found that the transformation of cuprous
Although the copper corrosion stratigraphy can be complex, there is a general pattern which applies to burial environments and is shown in fig44
chloride in bronzes occurred above 71% RH. Some years later, it was proposed  that a RH in the 40-50% range should be specified by museums for safe displaying of copper artefacts, but without presenting experimental data that would justify this suggestion. It seems that the lack of experimental evidence coupled with the daunting name of the reaction has brought confusion concerning the RH values that CuCl remains stable. This is exemplified by the different suggestions brought up by different authors. A common advice is that chloride-contaminated archaeological copper alloys should stay in a dry environment . Indeed this seems to be the conservation approach in museums; copper alloy artefacts, like iron artefacts, are being stored and displayed under desiccated conditions. Some  have recommended that the RH should be kept in the 40-50% range, whereas others  have stated that CuCl is unstable above 40% RH. Scott , on the other hand, reported that CuCl reacted at 70% RH within a day. He also suggested that a RH between 42-46% is adequate for the storage or display of untreated artefacts. The specific suggestion was based on experimental results of compressed tablets of cuprous chloride, powdered cuprous chloride and copper powder mixtures kept in a humidity cabinet for two years inside which the RH fluctuated between 42-46%. After the end of the experiment no change was observed to the tested samples. However, Scott did not expose the samples to a range of RH’s. This was done by Tsatsouli  who found that CuCl powder does not react at 45% RH and below, but when in contact with copper powder it transforms into Paratacamite (6% of the mixture), which is a sign for “bronze disease”, at 40% RH. Aims and objectives Having said the above, the present study concentrates on the Cu-CuCl system to fill gaps in the
cur-rent knowledge on the critical environmental con-ditions that lead to the manifestation of “bronze disease”. Specifically, the aims and objectives of the study are: - To suggest the critical RH value that CuCl transforms into copper trihydroxychlorides. - To investigate the aggressiveness of the corrosion reaction leading to “bronze disease”. - To test the theory developed during the project that corrosion reactions leading to “bronze disease” are apprehended below the deliquescence point of CuCl. - To use the results of this study to suggest safe RH levels for copper and copper alloy objects and thus contribute to the optimum management of the museum’s environmental and financial resources. Materials and Methods Sample preparation Powdered samples for investigating “bronze disease” corrosion reactions have been used in previous studies [3,10] and seem to produce reliable experimental results. They provide a large surface area which produces faster corrosion reactions. Indeed a few days are enough to determine if “bronze disease” has occurred, due to the rapidity and spontaneous nature of the corrosion reaction. Analar grade CuCl and Cu powders were used to make up the samples for the experiments. The tested samples were: - CuCl in contact with Cu powder. The ratio for the CuCl/Cu mixtures was 1:1; - CuCl on its own as a control; - Cu on its own as a control. Experimental procedure The experimental tests were carried out in a Vötsch Industrietechnik VC 4018 model environmental
Experiment No. 1 2 3 4 5 6
Samples Cu+CuCl, CuCl, Cu Cu+CuCl, CuCl, Cu Cu+CuCl, CuCl, Cu Cu+CuCl, CuCl, Cu Cu+CuCl, CuCl, Cu Cu+CuCl, CuCl, Cu
Duration 10 days 12.7 days 5.8 days 12 days 7.9 days 6.5 days
Temperature ºC 20 20 20 20 20 20
RH level 38% 42% 62% 70% 65% 63%
Table 1. Sets of experiments, shown in the order they were carried out, for determining the effect of RH and different compositions on the transformation of CuCl into copper trihydroxychlorides.
chamber. The test space has humidity and temperature sensors which are controlled via S!MPATI (Simulation Package for Test System Integration) computer software. Deionized water was used for the operation of the climatic chamber. For meeting the aims and objectives set out for this project the following experiments were carried out (table 1). A flexible approach was required for identifying the critical RH value that CuCl transforms into copper trihydroxychlorides. Therefore, experimental conditions for each set of experiments depended on the analytical results obtained from the previous one. This order also reflects the unpredictability of the project. The amount of variables was controlled by keeping the temperature stable at 20 ºC. The above experiments were carried out to suggest the critical RH value of CuCl transformation. In ad-dition, experiment 4 was carried out to investigate the aggressiveness of the corrosion reactions lead-ing to “bronze disease”, as the samples were taken out of the environmental chamber at specified time intervals. X-ray diffraction analysis The specimens were analyzed by XRD on an XPERTPRO diffractometer system. The system’s scan step size was set at 0.0170 [º2Theta], the scan step counting time at 21.3216 [sec] and the scan range at 5.0084-74.9634 [º2Theta]. The X-ray sources
used were Cu Kα and Cu Kβ and spectra were acquired at 30 mA and 40 kV. The mineral phase identification and semi-quantitative analysis was performed by X’Pert HighScore software. The computer software searched the reference database, with over 150,000 XRD patterns, for matches to the specimen’s spectrum. It suggested the mineral phases that may be present based on the existence and position of peaks as well as the quality of the peak intensities of the specimen. The obtained powder diffraction peak lists were always double-checked by visual inspection against a number of mineral phases that were expected to occur in the specimens. The d-spacing and relative intensity of peaks were used as identification criteria and the powder diffraction files used for the visual checking belonged to the following crystalline phases: - Cuprous chloride (CuCl) - Copper (Cu) - Atacamite – Botallackite – Clinoatacamite – Paratacamite [Cu2(OH)3Cl] - Cupric hydroxychloride [Cu(OH)Cl] - Eriochalcite [CuCl2.2(H2O)] - Cupric chloride (CuCl2) - Cuprite (Cu2O) Evaluation of the results of the experimental procedures was based on a combination of the visual inspection of the colour of the samples and the XRD analysis performed on them. Reference dife-conser vation
fraction patterns of CuCl, Cu and Cu+CuCl from the bottle were obtained to act as a standard and for comparison with the tested samples. Results XRD results on the Cu+CuCl and CuCl samples exposed at 38% for 10 days, at 42% for 12.7 days and at 62% RH for 5.8 days showed no measurable change in their mineral composition, and therefore no signs of “Bronze Disease”, when compared with the reference samples from the bottle. Samples at 70% RH and 20ºC Eleven Cu+CuCl samples, 4 CuCl samples and 1 Cu sample were prepared and apart from the Cu sample the rest were taken out from the environmental chamber at specified time intervals to evaluate the rate of transformation of CuCl into copper trihydroxychlorides. CuCl samples developed a dark green colour and had the consistency of thick slurry so they had to be dried in desiccated storage before XRD analysis. The Cu+CuCl samples were covered with the characteristic pale green Paratacamite powder, which is a sign for “Bronze Disease”, less
in the beginning (e.g. 3 days) and more by the end of the experimental period (9 days). XRD analysis results for the Cu+CuCl samples are displayed in Table 2. The XRD spectra from three different time periods of the experiment are compared in Figure 3. For the Cu+CuCl samples no change was observed during the first six hours, but at 9 hours Cupric Hydroxide Chloride (CuOHCl), which is a metastable corrosion product, and Paratacamite started forming. This mineral formation was slow for the first two days and by the beginning of the 2nd day CuOHCl disappeared.
Figure 3. Comparison of the XRD spectra between 3 Cu+CuCl specimens exposed for 3 hours, 1 day and 9 days at 70% RH. The major peaks for Paratacamite are noted at 16.254, 32.437 and 39.835 2θ(º).
Table 2. Mineral composition of the Cu+CuCl samples including the reference sample from the bottle.
Copper Cu+CuCl (reference) Cu+CuCl (3 hours) Cu+CuCl (6 hours) Cu+CuCl (9 hours) Cu+CuCl (16 hours) Cu+CuCl (24 hours)-1 day Cu+CuCl (48 hours)-2 days Cu+CuCl (72 hours)-3 days Cu+CuCl (120 hours)-5 days (1) Cu+CuCl (168 hours)-7 days (c) Cu+CuCl (216 hours)-9 days 49% 49% 53% 42% 43% 39% 42% 36% 38% 32% 36%
Cuprous chloride 51% 51% 47% 56% 54% 58% 56% 58% 48% 44% 42%
Paratacamite _ _ _ 1% 2% 2% 2% 6% 14% 24% 22%
CuOHCl _ _ _ 1% 1% 1% _ _ _ _ _
Cuprous chloride CuCl (1 day) CuCl (4 days) CuCl (7 days) CuCl (12 days) 86% _ _ _
CuOHCl 10% 66% 57% 67%
Paratacamite 4% 19% 22% 21%
Eriochalcite _ 15% 15% 12%
Table 3. Mineral composition of the tested CuCl samples.
From the 3rd day onwards the concentration of Paratacamite increased at a faster rate, to reach 22% on the 9th day of the experiment. XRD analysis of the CuCl samples showed a different picture (table 3) from that of the Cu+CuCl samples. Although after 1 day CuCl concentration was very high (86%), after four days there was no CuCl left in the sample and instead CuOHCl was the major mineral phase (66%) followed by Paratacamite (19%) and Eriochalcite (15%). The mineral composition of the samples stayed more or less the same after 12 days. The Cu sample remained unchanged. Samples at 65% RH and 20ºC Two Cu+CuCl samples, one CuCl sample and one Cu sample were prepared for this experiment and left in the environmental chamber for 7.9 days. The CuCl sample developed a dark green colour, whereas the Cu+CuCl samples had a few spots of light green Paratacamite powder on their surface. The XRD analysis results are shown in Table 4 and the XRD spectra of the tested Cu+CuCl and of the Cu+CuCl from the bottle are compared in Figure 4. The Cu+CuCl sample contained 2% Paratacamite. The CuCl sample had 1% Paratacamite and 3% CuOHCl. The Cu sample remained unchanged.
Table 4. The mineral composition of the tested specimens.
Samples at 63% RH and 20ºC Two Cu+CuCl samples, one CuCl sample and one Cu sample were prepared for this experiment and left in the environmental chamber for 6.5 days. The CuCl sample showed no colour alteration, whereas the Cu+CuCl samples had very few tiny spots of light green Paratacamite powder on their surface. The XRD analysis results are shown in Table 5 and the XRD spectra of the tested Cu+CuCl and of the Cu+CuCl from the bottle are compared in Figure 5. The Cu+CuCl sample contained 1% Paratacamite whereas the CuCl sample had 1% CuOHCl. The Cu sample remained unchanged.
Figure 4. Comparison of the XRD spectra of Cu+CuCl (65% RH, 7.9 days) and Cu+CuCl (bottle). The major peaks for Paratacamite are noted at 16.254, 32.437 and 39.835 2θ(º).
Copper Cu+CuCl (7.9 days) CuCl (7.9 days) 40% _
Cuprous chloride 58% 96%
Paratacamite 2% 1%
CuOHCl _ 3%
Copper Cu+CuCl (6.5 days) CuCl (6.5 days) 41% _
Cuprous chloride 58% 99%
Paratacamite 1% _
CuOHCl _ 1%
Table 5. The mineral composition of the tested specimens.
Discussion The critical RH value for CuCl transformation to copper trihydroxychlorides XRD results on the Cu+CuCl and CuCl samples exposed at 38% for 10 days, at 42% for 12.7 days and at 62% RH for 5.8 days showed no measurable change in their mineral composition when compared with the reference samples from the bottle. Similarly, the copper metal on its own did not change during the tested RH’s probably because rapid copper corrosion occurs only at around 9598% RH . However, the Cu+CuCl exposed at 63% RH for 6.5 days showed the appearance of Paratacamite at 1% concentration whereas the CuCl sample had 1% CuOHCl. Furthermore, the tested samples exposed at higher RH’s showed that the rate of transformation of CuCl into the copper trihydroxychlorides is RHdependent. Figure 6 clearly demonstrates that samples left for short periods at high RH’s had almost identical diffractograms with samples exposed to lower RH’s for longer periods. The deliquescence point of CuCl The XRD results of the tested samples at 63% and 65% RH show clearly that the manifestation of “bronze disease” is much slower compared to that at 70% RH. The increased transformation rate of CuCl at 70% RH is probably due to the deliquescence point of CuCl which occurs at 68.4% RH when exposed to 19.4ºC . Above the deliquescence point of CuCl, at 70% RH, liquid water is absorbed into the crystal structure of CuCl and because water
Figure 5. Comparison of the XRD spectra of Cu+CuCl (63% RH, 7.9 days) and Cu+CuCl (bottle). The slight shift in the peak positions denotes the presence of Paratacamite. The major peaks for Paratacamite are noted at 16.254, 32.437 and 39.835 2θ(º).
Figure 6. The almost identical XRD spectra of Cu+CuCl exposed at 65% RH for 7.9 days and Cu+CuCl exposed at 70% RH for 2 days. The major peaks for Paratacamite are noted at 16.254, 32.437 and 39.835 2θ(º).
is polar it gets attracted to the electrostatic charge of the ions derived from the salt and therefore the escape of water molecules is hindered . Therefore, when the deliquescence point of CuCl is reached, the water is incorporated into the crystal structure of the mineral which results in the quick formation of “bronze disease”. At 70% RH, water and oxygen are freely available to be consumed via the oxidation and hydrolysis of CuCl:
4CuCl + O2 + 4H2O = 2Cu2(OH)3Cl + 2H+ + 2Cl-
The presence of HCl in the CuCl samples as a result of equation (4) was verified by the measurement of their pH which was found to be as low as 2.5. Why “bronze disease” occurs at 63% RH? Not as aggressive as is currently thought? If water is freely available for corrosion reactions only above the deliquescence point of CuCl then why Paratacamite occurs at 65% and 63% RH? Since water is required for the occurrence of “bronze disease”, it means that CuCl incorporates water into its crystal structure before the deliquescence point is reached. It seems that there are other factors, apart from RH and temperature, affecting the kinetics of water absorption in a salt such as the composition and type of substrate, and air movement . Overall, the results from this study show that whereas the rate of CuCl transformation into copper trihydroxychlorides is slow at 65% and 63% RH, it dramatically increases above its deliquescence point. In addition, the present study suggests that the copper and copper alloy artefacts should remain stable at a RH below 60% and that the current belief on the critical RH value of “bronze disease” occurrence is overstated and exaggerated. However, this recommendation needs clarification with longer experimental periods. Conclusions From the early part of the 20th century “bronze disease” caused great concern among museum curators . Since then, several authors have recommended that safe RH values for copper and copper alloy artefacts should be below 40% RH. These suggestions, apart from two exceptions [3, 10], are not backed up by scientific evidence. In this study, it was found that corrosion reactions
leading to “bronze disease” are very fast above the deliquescence point of CuCl, whereas they are much slower below it. Furthermore, a Cu+CuCl sample after 6.5 days exposure at 63% RH formed Paratacamite but no change could be identified in Cu+CuCl samples after 5.8 days exposure at 62% RH. This finding does not necessarily mean that 63% RH is the critical point of CuCl transformation. In fact there may be no critical RH for CuCl transformation because the chemisorption of water into the crystal structure of CuCl probably depends on many subtle variables such as sample composition and air movement. However, the results of the present study and taking into account the fact that the experimental conditions were very aggressive and would not occur in real conditions, suggest that the copper and copper alloy artefacts would remain stable at a RH below 60%. This means that chloride-contaminated copper alloy artefacts would not require any special attention and would probably be safe in ambient museum environmental conditions (45-60%) as long as the upper limit is not exceeded. Longer experimental periods and variable experimental conditions, especially in the 50-60 RH range, are required in order to test this suggestion. The present study does not aspire to provide definitive answers on the optimum storage of copper and its alloys. The word optimum also refers to energy efficiency which is very important nowadays. There has to be adequate justification for the specification of environmental conditions for cultural objects, especially when air-handling units (e.g. air-conditioners) with high operating costs are employed. These costs will be higher if desiccated conditions are specified. Therefore, more scientific data are required to elucidate our understanding of the mechanism of CuCl transformation into copper trihydroxychlorides so as to avoid basing environmental specifications on largely empirical observations. Based on the results of the present study it is
suggested that museums become bolder in their environmental approach of storing and displaying copper alloy artefacts and quit the “better safe than sorry” policy if they ever hope to be costeffective. Acknowledgments The following people are thanked for their valuable help in completing this article: David Watkinson, my supervisor, for his continuous support and useful discussions and comments that much improved the scientific quality of the project; Mark Lewis of the Cardiff University conservation department for demonstrating the operation of the climatic chamber; Louise Joyner and Ian Freestone of the conservation department for their kindness on showing me how to operate the XRD and for the useful discussions; Michael Lambert, Tom Cottrell and Amanda Valentine of the NMGW for their kindness on showing me how to operate the XRD. References  J. H. Payer, “Bronze Corrosion: Rates and Chemical Processes”, in T. Drayman-Weisser (ed.), Dialogue/89 - The Conservation of Bronze Sculpture in the Outdoor Environment: A Dialogue Among Conservators, Curators, Environmental Scientists and Corrosion Engineers, National association of Corrosion Engineers, Houston Texas, 1992, pp. 103-122  B. Knight, “A Review of the Corrosion of Iron From Terrestrial Sites and the Problem of PostExcavation Corrosion”, The Conservator 14, 1990, pp. 37-43  D. A. Scott, “Bronze Disease: A Review of Some Chemical Problems and the Role of Relative Humidity”, Journal of the American Institute
for Conservation 29, no. 2, 1990, pp. 193-206  D. A. Scott, “A Review of Copper Chlorides and Related Salts in Bronze Corrosion and as Painting Pigments”, Studies in Conservation 45, 2000, pp. 39-53  J. H. Payer et al., “Role of Transport Properties in Corrosion Product Growth”, Materials Science and Engineering A198, 1995, pp. 91-102  G. A. Rosenberg, “Antiquities and Humidity”, The Museums Journal 33, 1933, pp. 307-314  R. M. Organ, “Aspects of Bronze Patina and its Treatment”, Studies in Conservation 8, 1963, pp. 1-9  W. T. Chase, “Bronze Disease and its Treatments”, The Department of Fine Arts: Bangkok National Museum, 1975  S. Turgoose and S. J. Duncan, “Techniques for Metal Sculpture Corrosion Inhibition”, in T. Drayman-Weisser (ed.), Dialogue/89 - The Conservation of Bronze Sculpture in the Outdoor Environment: A Dialogue Among Conservators, Curators, Environmental Scientists and Corrosion Engineers, National association of Corrosion Engineers, Houston Texas, 1992, pp. 275-287  N. Tsatsouli, “Bronze Disease: The Influence of Relative Humidity on Cuprous Chloride”, Unpublished MSc in Conservation Thesis, Cardiff University, 2004  F. M. Howie, “Elements, Alloys and Miscellaneous Minerals”, in The Care and Conservation of Geological Material. Minerals, Rocks, Meteorites and Lunar Finds, F. M. Howie (ed.), Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 1992, pp. 51-55
 C. P. Hedlin and F. N. Trofimenkoff, “Relative humidities over saturated solutions of nine salts in the temperature range from 0 to 90º F”, International Symposium on Humidity and Moisture, Proceedings, Washington, D.C., USA, Vol. 3, chapter 31, 1963, pp. 519-520. Available at: URL [pdf]  C. Price, “Salt Damage in Porous Materials”, in An Expert Chemical Model in Determining the Environmental Conditions Needed to Prevent Salt Damage in Porous Materials, European Commission Research Report No. 11 (Protection and Conservation of European Cultural Heritage), Archetype Publications, London, 2000, pp. 3-12  T. Drayman-Weisser, “A Perspective on the History of the Conservation of Archeological Copper Alloys in the United States”, Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 33 No 2, 1994, pp. 141-152
FREE CONSERVATION RESOURCES
Art Conservation Research
Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.collectionscare.com Alexios Papapelekanos has studied in the U.K at Durham University BA Archaeology (1999-2002) and MSc Palaeopathology (2002-2003). Subsequently, he studied at Cardiff University MSc Care of Collections (2003-2004) and BSc Conservation of Objects in Archaeology and Museums (20042006). Throughout the years of his study and subsequent years he has gained expertise in the field of metals conservation research and in the preventive conservation profession. On 2008 he became the co-founder and Head Scientist of the Collections Care Company (CCco) in Thessaloniki, Greece. The company promotes the proper care and preservation of collections housed in institutions or privately owned by collectors.
ASPECTS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH OF THE HISTORICAL MONUMENT FROM HERESTI, ROMANIA
by Dragos Ene and Roxana Radvan
DRAGOS ENE and ROXANA RADVAN
Laser techniques are being successfully employed in the conservation of historical buildings in many European countries and not only, proving the advantage in preserving historical layers otherwise impossible, especially for very degraded stone or metal. Today, optoelectronical systems make products out of the laser cleaning research projects, for example, and laser investigation-diagnosis systems are more often desired. An increasing number of professional conservator-restorers are also being acquainted with these new instruments and methods. The future perspective of lasers in conservation will deal more and more with current applications. This paper describes how a good practice demonstration based on an advanced laser technique generated useful results in the frame of the “STONE HOUSE” Project - CLT2006/A1/RO-80 - under the Culture 2000 Program. Long-term microclimate monitoring and air quality periodical evaluation were associated with temperature distribution on exposed outdoor walls to identify the deterioration stress. Thus, a 3D model with the thermal representation of the walls was generated, which is much more useful than a traditional thermal representation. Measurements were made during the cold season up to July 2007. Also, repeated laser scanning allowed to complete successive three-dimensional records of the surface at different moments that could evaluate erosion speed and to check preliminary theoretical (analytical) stress distribution on the surface.
Introduction Historical buildings and cultural heritage are affected not only by natural ageing but also by natural calamities, inappropriate interventions and modifications, and even vandalism. That is the reason why documentation of works of art is so important, mainly in what concerns fragile artifacts, monuments to be restored, or archaeological sites under excavation works. Moreover, the documentation of works of art, especially high accuracy documents, allows the construction of real and virtual models, providing basis for restoration studies and knowledge dissemination. The general objectives of the project have been focused on: shafting and highlighting the common cultural heritage of European significance; disseminating know-how and promoting good practices concerning conservation and safeguarding the community heritage; fostering an intercultural dialogue and know-how exchange between Romania, Bulgaria, France and other countries from the Balkan area (Serbia, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia and Turkey).
Particularly, the challenge of the project consists in the revitalization of a multi-ethnic element by placing it in the chore of a regional anthropological research net. The historical site, located at 35 km from Bucharest and 15 km North from the Danube River, includes a piece of land of 6 ha, a 17th century Church, and two country castles. One of those, known as the Stone House, is an architectural monument built in 1646 by the Chancellor of the King Matei Basarab, following an Italian Renaissance pattern. The import of this European model was perceived at the time by the contemporaries as a sign of modernity. This particular building, made of an unusual material for the village, has become in time the mark of a local identity. The project aimed to place this memory object in a larger values map (Balkans region). An on-site demonstration of the results of this multidisciplinary applied research implementation for historical monuments investigation was organized, as good practice example, as one of the planned activities of the project. Although the
ASPECTS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FROM HERESTI
practice of scientific conservation is more and more applied by universities and important museums it is less known and respected when the monument is outside of urban areas. The trained group included students, young architects and conservator-restorers, but local people also assisted. This demonstration certainly showed the polyvalent result of the project. Being characterized by shape, the building was recorded and documented in 3D (three-dimensional or volumetric) images in order to contain more complete geometrical information and to make possible volumetric reproductions, like material replicas or virtual images. 3D Laser Scanning is a technique that takes advantage of the coherence properties of laser radiation, which consists
Figure 1. View of the Stone House in Heresti.
in a very pure color and highly directional light beam. This technique is able to acquire, store and process 3D computer images and information of the objects using a low power laser beam as the light source and detecting the light reflected from the object surface on very sensitive sensors. As high quality solution, comprehensive and supported by expert professionals, 3D scanning is a proper solution for a fast, complex and accurate recording of historical building digital model. Because of the unfriendly environment conditions’ dynamics, with high temperature gradients and direct exposure to seasonal strong wind, the evaluation of differential erosion risk was only possible by corroborated investigations and measurements.
DRAGOS ENE and ROXANA RADVAN
3D Shape recording The scanning measurements were structured, from the resolution point of view, in both medium and high resolutions scans. The 3D recordings were made inside the house, namely in one of the basements, shown in figure 2, at a resolution less than 2 mm, and two communicating rooms, and outside the house. For 3D data acquisition a phase shifting scanner was used, with a range from 1.5 up to 22 m. Angular resolution may vary from 17 up to 180 lines per degree. This factor may give the value of the spatial resolution, the highest value being less than 200 µm when the distance between the object and the scanner is the minimum (1.5 m) and the angular resolution is the highest (180 lines/ degree).
Figure 2. General view of the basement in 3D.
The laser power is 15 mW with a wavelength of 690 nm. The scanner is connected to a laptop which controls all the acquisition parameters (angular resolution, angular coordinates, estimative distance or object) and all the data are downloaded on the laptop’s hard disk. The format of exported data may be *.stl or *.obj mesh format or 4 columns ASCII file (the first 3 columns the xyz coordinates while the 4th represents the value of the red intensity reflected and recorded by the scanner) for the points format. The highest resolution scans where made on the inscriptions: three on the entrance of the basements and another one in the right side of the right entrance (reading “29 Juin 1883 / 29 Juin 1888 rendez-vous", see figure 4).
ASPECTS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FROM HERESTI
One scan was also made on the main facade, with a planar resolution less than 3 mm. Microclimate Monitoring As many protocols and procedures request, microclimate monitoring is a compulsory activity for the conservator-restorer from the very first stages till the end of the intervention, and a permanent responsibility of the monument keepers. The importance of the microclimate monitoring will not be stress here as it is beyond the objective of the present paper. A simple network of 4 dataloggers was implemented in both levels (figures 6 and 7) for 1 year long monitoring of the air temperature and relative humidity. Obviously, all data collected during the training and dissemination of scientific conservation practice have its own value, useful to deFigure 3 (above). High resolution scan of the façade inscriptions. Figure 4 (right). High resolution representations of the right entrance inscription. Figure 5 (below). 3D representation of the main facade.
DRAGOS ENE and ROXANA RADVAN
termine microclimate dynamics and could be immediately used by the conservators and administrative team. Due to a relative mild winter, neither the temperature nor the relative humidity gradients reach alarming values. However, the parameter dynamics has some high risk: possible biological contamination and organic matter degradation. Detailed measurement plots and values are available on the project’s website at http://inoe.inoe. ro/stonehouse/. Additional measurements of humidity in the walls were made inside and outside of the main facade (figure 9). An interesting fact is the similarity of the corresponding values at 0.5 and 2 meters height. Furthermore it can also be observed that it converges to the same values as the ones at 0.5 meters once the measured points get farther than North East wall.
Figure 7. Plan of the first floor with the localization of sensors S31 and S32. Figure 6. Plan of the ground floor with the localization of sensors S7 and S15.
Table 1. Variation of the temperature [0C] from 13.12.2006 to 28.02.2007.
Maximum variation mean 1 days 2 days 1.6 2.1 3.7 4.2 3 days 1.6 2.8 3.8 4.5 4 days 1.8 2.8 3.8 4.5 5 days 1.6 2.8 4.3 4.2 6 days 1.7 3.3 4.6 4.2 7 days 2.1 3.3 4.5 4.5
7 15 31 32
4.6 2.6 0.7 0.8
8 8 8.2 8.5
1.2 2.1 2.2 3.5
Table 2. Variation of the relative humidity [RH] from 13.12.2006 to 28.02.2007.
Maximum variation mean 1 days 2 days 15.3 17.9 24.7 27.2 3 days 13.2 16.6 29.6 29.7 4 days 14 17.1 31.1 29 5 days 13.1 14.2 27.8 27.2 6 days 11.4 13.8 29.7 24.8 7 days 14.5 14.4 28.3 24.8
7 15 31 32
54.1 52.8 46.1 41.3
74.1 72 86.3 81.8
13.4 14.2 22 25.9
ASPECTS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FROM HERESTI
Table 3. Variation of the temperature [0C] from June 1 to July 17, 2007.
Maximum variation mean 1 days 2 days 0.7 1.7 2.7 7.7 3 days 0.8 1.7 2.6 7.4 4 days 1 1.8 2.4 7.5 5 days 1.2 1.9 2.8 7.2 6 days 1.4 2.1 2.8 7.2 7 days 1.6 2.2 3 8
7 15 31 32
18 18.7 22.4 21.1
22 24.4 29.6 33.5
0.6 1.3 1.6 6.4
Table 4. Variation of the relative humidity [RH] from June 1 to July 17, 2007.
Maximum variation mean 1 days 2 days 2 12.6 23 17 3 days 3 13.2 28.2 23.3 4 days 4 12.5 26.7 22 5 days 5 11.8 24.2 19.6 6 days 6 11.9 25.5 22 7 days 7 12.2 29.6 24.5
7 15 31 32
76 42.2 30.6 32.4
91.5 76.8 66.6 70.9
1 9.3 21.6 16.1
Figure 8. Plots of temperature and relative humidity variations recorded by the 15th sensor.
DRAGOS ENE and ROXANA RADVAN
Figure 9. Humidity walls measurements (investigated points are highlighted in red).
Figure 10. Relative humidity variation on the facade wall in March 2007.
ASPECTS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FROM HERESTI
Thermovision Monitoring of historical buildings walls represents one of the possible thermovision applications in order to rebuild or conserve cultural goods. The results of this technique are given with thermal images, displayed in pseudocolors. The advantage of this display method is that it offers better intensity variations which are easier to identify. Qualitative studies in thermography consist in the study of the thermal images in order to identify the presence of anomalies and their localization. Using 3D matching algorithms, a 3D thermal representation was obtained, the thermal image being projected on the 3D surface. As a consequence of the building’s age and its location on a higher river bank with no tall vegetation, the windy winters strongly washed out the old stone surfaces. The original allure of the building was kept due to some new aesthetically well integrated stone pieces. A perfect “fingerprint” of the wind still exists on many of the original stones and proves an unsuspected environmental stress over the building. The most interesting observation after preliminary investigation can be extracted from the thermovision inspection. All thermal images, collected in different seasons and at different moments of the day, indicate a permanent distinct distribution of the temperature on the new and old stone pieces. On these, the maximum gradient of temperature did not exceed 3° C. From previous experience, the surface decay in similar cases but with high temperature gradient on surface could also be explained by the significant temperature stress.
Figure 11. 3D thermal representation of the facade (December 2006).
DRAGOS ENE and ROXANA RADVAN
Figure 12. 3D thermal representation of the façade (January 2007).
We will start a long-term study on the possible tension induced by similar categories of material but with not enough appropriate values of optical absorbance, thermal emissivity and other parameters. Conclusions Three dimensional representations of different sets of measurements may represent a new and better way to inspect the object characteristics. This representation of the thermal distribution on a 3D surface offers a better visualisation of the thermal distribution, identifying the existing problems and stressful areas of the walls in a different way and offering, finally, an improved method for diagnosis. Similarly, a three-dimensional representation of imaging techniques may be obtained adding results of laser induced fluorescence (LIF), which
may be visualised in a 3D environment, offering detailed 3D mapping of selected spectra. The visualisation can also be improved using Doppler vibrometry techniques. Vibration is induced to the surface of the object by loudspeakers or piezoelectric sensors. Then, the laser is scattered and the Doppler shift (between an original beam and the shifted beam) is recorded. Measuring the frequency response, and combining it with a technique that acquires the response in time (laser scanning), a 3D visualisation of the vibration’s amplitude can be achieved. In this particular case, the vibration may also be correlated with the actual shape of the object. Acknowledgments The activities at Heresti Sone House were developed under the Culture 2000 Program Project CLT2006/A1/RO-80. The authors are also thankful to PNCDI II program 91-009-Imagist project and Nucleu Program 09-27.01.01 for financial support.
ASPECTS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FROM HERESTI
Figure 13. 3D view of the first floor chambers.
Researcher Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Dragos Ene graduated in 2007 from the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, with specialization in Applied Physics. Since the same year he is a PhD student at the Faculty of Applied Science with the main focus on optical methods used to study conservation status of the monuments. At the present he is part of the research team from the Department of Advanced Methods and Techniques for Artwork Restoration Conservation of the National Institute of Research & Development for Optoelectronics (INOE) 2000 in Bucharest.
Senior Scientist Contact: email@example.com Roxana Radvan received the BS degree in Applied Optics and Fine Mechanics in 1990 from Polytechnic University of Bucharest and her doctoral degree on non-conventional optics in 1996 from Technical Army Academy of Bucharest. She is a researcher at the National Institute of Research & Development for Optoelectronics (INOE) 2000 and is working on optoelectronics application on cultural heritage protection and conservation-restoration. She coordinates a thematic national network in this field – PRO RESTAURO, is COST G7 vice-president and member of LACONA Permanent Scientific Committee.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE of RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT for OPTOELECTRONICS 2000 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.inoe.ro/
Professional Association of Conservator-Restorers of Portugal http://www.arp.org.pt/
SECOND ARP SEMINAR
The Practice of Theory – Treatments of Conservation-Restoration
This issue contains the third part of a temporary section dedicated to the publication of the proceedings of the Second ARP Seminar, organised by the Professional Association of Conservator-Restorers of Portugal. The Second ARP Seminar, The Practice of Theory – Treatments of Conservation-Restoration was held in the auditorium of the National Museum of Ancient Art (MNAA) in Lisbon on May 29-30, 2009. The proceedings were published in Portuguese by the association and the English version of the articles presented at the meeting are being published by e-conservation magazine. The series of articles in this issue is dedicated to the Conservation of Textiles and Paintings.
THE ALTAR FRONTAL OF THE CHURCH OF NOSSA SENHORA DA PIEDADE DE SANTARÉM
by Eva Armindo
The present article describes the conservation treatment of a 17th-18th century altar frontal from the church of Nossa Senhora da Piedade in Santarém. The altar frontal is decorated by a floral decoration in metallic thread on a beige silk damask fabric. The conservation-restoration treatment consisted mainly in mechanical and wet cleaning and physical stabilization which improved considerably its mechanical stability and aesthetics. A new exhibiting system was also implemented along with preventive conservation measures. The altar frontal is part of an extensive religious textile collection which has already been catalogued. This intervention shows a beneficial collaboration between the responsible for religious heritage and accredited conservation professionals in order to preserve objects of art that are so often threatened by lack of economic resources or simply by ignorance.
Introduction The Church of Nossa Senhora da Piedade in Santarém was selected in 2006 as the Pilot Church of the Diocese of Santarém, under the “Safe Church - Open Church” Project, developed by the Institute of Police and Criminal Sciences. This project is focused on the implementation of actions at the level of safety and conservation for the protection of churches and its heritage, both movable and immovable. Among other measures, the inventory of the church movable assets was carried out, which allowed to quantify and to assess its technical quality and importance. It was also possible to assess the overall conservation state of the collections and to set up priorities for its conservation. The inventory also allowed to establish the predominance of textile objects in comparison to other object categories, namely about 300 objects from 700 (figure 1) . The textiles collection is mostly composed of items from the 17th-20th centuries, mainly with vegetal decoration but presenting several typologies, techniques and materials . While most of the items have a high artistic, historical or cultural quality, there are others that have a lower technical and artistic relevance. However, these are important to characterise the local production and for the local identity . Thus, all the items were subject either to conservation-restoration treatment or to preventive conservation. This project of inventory and preservation of the church heritage was partially published as a catalogue which includes a series of specialised collaborations [1, 2]. This publication contains, among others, a chapter dedicated to the definition, conservation and preservation of the textiles, including the altar frontal in study. It is expected that this publication, along with other actions, will help to raise awareness among the responsibles of the other churches as well as of the general
Figure 1. Distribution of the movable heritage of the Church of Nossa Senhora da Piedade, where the textile category is predominant .
population in order to allow a better collaboration with accredited conservators. The altar frontal is an example of the assets that were treated. Its physical condition was greatly improved and stabilized by means of a methodology designed according to the current ethical criteria. A new exhibiting system was designed for its future preservation and display. At the same time, preventive conservation measures were recommended which can also be extrapolated to the entire collection with appropriate adaptations. Altar Frontal Technique and decoration Altar fronts are objects that have the purpose of decorating religious spaces, namely altars. They are also known as antependium and have several types of decoration depending on their manufacturing period. Nevertheless, they are always rich in decoration and it was one of the most prominent ornaments in the altar1 .
1 This ornament has its origin in the towel that covered the
altar table towards the floor, on the front and sides. With time, to be more practical, this towel was eventually cut at the corners and its front border part became an independent vestment .
ALTAR FRONTAL CONSERVATION
The present altar frontal originally belonged to the Convent of Donnas2, according to the inscription found on a label sewn on the back (figure 2), and it was one of the pieces later taken to the church of Nossa Senhora da Piedade in Santarém after the extinction of the convent, in the late 19th century. The frontal has a rectangular shape and measures 280x100 cm (figure 3). It is made with beige damask3 fabric with decorations sewn with laminated golden-gilt thread (flowered4) and elements of lacework (galloons and metallic fringe) applied on a fabric support of brown taffeta which exceeded the frontal upper limit at about 10 cm and the laterals at about 4 cm. The analysis of the manufacturing techniques (table 1) has shown that the frontal is composed by 14 damask fabric elements, distributed as follows: - 5 panels of the field and 5 frontal panels, with 50 cm wide each (distance between the lateral
Figure 2. Identification tag with the origin of the altar frontal.
selvedges); - 4 panels of smaller width, located on the frontal and field lateral edges, which may result in additions or cuts of the existing fields. In the frontal area, each panel is divided in the center by galloon application, in a total of 10 small panels of 25 cm wide. The galloons sewn with metallic thread divide the different panels. The upper and lateral perimeter of the object is finished by two overlapped strips of beige gallon.
Figure 3. General image of the frontal before the intervention (photomontage).
2 Convent of São Domingos das Donas was the feminine side of the Dominican Order. It started in the 13th century and it was extinct in the late 19th century . 3 Damascus is a type of fabric that, on its primitive form, con-
the warp and weft of a single needlepoint, having the particularity of being reversible .
4 Espolinado is a term used to describe a drawing effect
sisted of a background effect and a drawing effect given by
formed by a weft that limits its work to the width of its motifs .
Table 1. Technical details of the frontal.
Designation Base fabric Supplementary woof (from the support fabric) Galloon (perimeter contour) Lacework
Characterisation Beige damask silk * Laminated gold-gilt thread, S torsion, with white silk core * Galloon fabric of ivory silk * Galloon fabric of laminated gold-gilt thread with white silk core and S torsion * Metallic fringe of laminated gold-gilt thread with yellow silk core and S torsion *
* without appreciable torsion.
Taffeta fabric of vegetable fibres, brown colour, composed of several patches of other similar fabrics.
Concerning the decoration, the damask fabric presents vegetal motifs developed symmetrically around an axis of longitudinal symmetry. The drawing contains highlighted flowers and leafs surrounded by decorations made by laminated golden-gilt thread in the espolinado technique, drawing flower laces and garlanded strings. A vertical selvedge which allowed to verify the decorative sequence was also found concluding that each panel of the field corresponds to a module of the decorative pattern. It should be noted that it was the combination of the materials and techniques that gave the shine and splendour to the frontal. When beige silk is used, it is causing a highlight reflection with the damask fabric. Part of the decoration is made of satin, with smoother and more reflective surface, contrasting with the taffeta areas. The lacework and the metallic decoration have also a strong contribution to the overall shine. In this type of damask decoration the ornamental motifs of large dimension from the 17th century evolved in the 18th century to designs increasingly
more detailed. Thus, the middle size of the frontal motifs suggests that it belongs to a transition period. In addition, the used of metallic thread and the comparison with other frontals already dated and that are stylistically similar, make it probable that the frontal dates from the 17th century or early 18th century. Identification of materials The morphology of the fibers was analyzed by optical microscopy through the observation of the longitudinal cross-sections of the fibres5 in transmitted light (figure 4). The presence of silk on the support damask fabric, on the frontal edge galloon and in the core of the laminated thread of the decoration and lacework was confirmed, once the interior of the analysed fibres is smooth which is characteristic of the silk fibers Bombix Mori . The same analysis was performed to the support fabric which revealed the presence of
5 Optical microscope Bresser Biolux AL. The samples were pre-
pared on slides using glycerine.
ALTAR FRONTAL CONSERVATION
fibres with cellulosic constitution, most probably linen6 according to the presence of nodules . However, this last fibre was impossible to identify. Concerning the laminated thread (figure 5), it was also not possibly to identify the component materials. However, the characteristic golden shine suggests the presence of gold. Given the oxidation of the most exposed laminated thread, where in some areas led to its browning, it is likely that the metal should be either a metal such as Cu or Ag or a gold-plated alloy, once the presence of pure gold itself wouldn’t led to such strong darkening7 and since it is the noblest element used in the production of metal decorations applied in textiles . Furthermore, the use of metallic threads made of silver plated with gold (15th-17th centuries) and golden copper threads (since the 17th century) reinforce the hypothesis of the golden alloy thread from the 17th-18th century . The material analysis verified the common use of more noble fibres, such as silk and laminated thread, on the visible decorations and cheaper fibres on the support fabrics. The application of laminated thread was reserved, especially, to the front side of the damask fabric. This analysis was also important as it helped in the selection of the materials to be used in the conservation-restoration treatment, allowing thus to select the most compatible materials with the original ones. Conservation and Restoration of the Frontal Assessment of the conservation problems In the analysis of the conservation state of a textile object it is important identify the degradation of the object but also the degradation agents that induce it. Thus, determining the problem source
Figure 4 a and b. Optical microscopy images by transmitted light from the longitudinal cross-section of the fibres. Figure 4a (above) shows silk fibres, characteristically with the interior smooth while figure 4b (below) shows a typical image of a cellulosic fibre, most probably linen due the presence of nodules on the interior.
Figure 5. Optical microscopy image by reflected light from a laminated thread, where the S torsion of the metal around the fiber core can be seen.
it will be easier to develop and to implement the solutions. The frontal present problems mainly at a physical and mechanical level, that contribute to its weakness and that also affect its aesthetic reading.
6 The flax fibres are characterised by hexagonal cross sec-
tions . In order to confirm the identification a transversal cross section of the fibre would be required. This was not performed due to the lack of the necessary resources.
7 Deposits of dirt, grease, lime deposits or even corrosion
products from the metallic alloy can be found over gold but are not gold corrosion .
The major forms of degradation (figure 6) can be enumerated as follows: - Loss of textile material by the presence of tears (25% loss of warp threads) and lacunas (10% loss of warp and weft threads); - Loss of metal by the presence of lacunas (5%) and detached metallic threads (30-35%); - Wrinkles, creases and strains (10%); - Oxidation and darkening of the metallic surface (80% of the areas with metallic thread); - Yellowing and darkening of the silk fibres (90%); - Presence of dirt as agent of degradation, in the form of solid particles (90%), damp stains (20%), paint stains (3%) and rust lacunas or stains (5%, especially on the support fabric); The tears, caused mainly due to the loss of warp threads, are located mostly in the central panels. Furthermore, there are also some tears in the areas under the fringe, here being caused by the local galloon anchors in the fabric which induced tensions, and abrasion in the fringe of the silk fabric. The appearance of gaps is also considerable in the in the lower panels, near the lower end which is also more favourable to wear, and especially in the first panel. In these same areas there
are more formal alterations such as wrinkles due to the weight of the fabric and creases due to the incorrect storage since the frontal was often folded in the same areas, bearing the weight of other parts. The areas with detached laminated thread are mainly concentrated in the central area of the panels and at the bottom, mostly due to the use, handling and abrasion of the surface. The border areas between the fabric and the decoration with laminated thread are intrinsically weaker areas as they are made from two different materials – fibre and metal – that react differently to the relative humidity and temperature. Since environmental conditions were not controlled, the frontal was subjected continuously to cycles of swelling and shrinking leading to the weakening of those union areas and to the detachment of many laminated threads. Aesthetically, the frontal is affected by tears, lacunas and detached laminated threads revealing the underlying support fabric of darker colour. Furthermore, the oxidation and darkening of the metallic surfaces led to the loss of its characteristic golden glow. This alteration is due to the inherent natural degradation of the metal and it occurs especially in the most exposed metallic surfaces. This has contributed to its abrasion and humidity
Figure 6. Schematic representation of the main conservation problems of the frontal: detached metallic thread, - wrinkles and creases; – wax drops.
- lacunas and tears;
- lacunas and
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absorption, and to oxidizing agents, such as some pollutants and oxygen itself, since the metallic surfaces located in the most protected areas in the fringe still maintain a strong golden shine. The silk fibres have a natural yellowing caused by oxidation and aging due to ultraviolet. Dirt, dust, sand and soot in particular, were more or less adherent to the fibres and its interstices and according to its nature it was difficult to remove. The presence of fat particles, like wax, and several types of stains, including ink, that adhered firmly to the fibres was also observed. Regardless of the nature of the dirt, it induced degradation in medium to long term. Furthermore, dirt can cause abrasion, loss of flexibility, irreversible colour change, increased acidity and occasionally total destruction of the fibres . Conclusions of the conservation state The main conservation problems of the frontal are the lacunas and tearing which prevent the normal handling of the object and compromise its stability. These degradations have a negative influence on the aesthetic reading of the frontal. Considering all these problems, the conservation state of the frontal should be qualified as poor but given that the fibres and galloons are relatively resistant, it can be considered reasonable. The treatment will consist largely in the stabilisation of the vulnerable and detached areas and cleaning. The aesthetic improvement is mainly a direct consequence of physical and chemical treatments. Conservation and Restoration Intervention Considering the nature of the materials and the diagnosis of the conservation problems, the intervention was divided into several stages according to conservation principles and intervention criteria currently established.
Disassembly of the frontal This was an essential step for the continuation of the following treatments, namely cleaning, washing, and lacuna stabilisation. The disassembly was performed by separating the various components: the support fabric of the several panels, the panels, the fringe and the galloons. All items were numbered and marked, and their original location was identified for future reference during the assembly operation. Mechanical Cleaning Beyond fabric’s evident loss of brightness, the observation under magnification revealed small particles of dirt (dust and other solid substances) and drops of wax that could be removed by mechanical means. The cleaning procedure was performed using a vacuum with thin nozzles, with controlled suction, and with the help of tweezers and scalpels to remove the wax drops in the fabric, lacework and support, on both sides. The most vulnerable areas, those with metallic thread and tearings, were protected by tulle during this process. The result was a considerable removal of solid dirt particles which were less attached to the fibre’s surface as seen in the filter (figure 7), as well as several lines that originally sewed the frontal.
Figure 7. Dirt that was retained in the filters of white fabric, during the vacuuming of the field panel and the frontal.
Wet Cleaning Although mechanical cleaning removed a large amount of dirt, there were still certain types of stains more closely linked to the fibres and to the metallic surfaces, likely to be removed only by washing. Washing is an irreversible operation and, as such, it should be carefully considered. The frontal presents on the support fabric one single type of fibres – silk – that, despite the reported problems, show favourable mobility and endurance. At the same time, the damask is a composite material with the presence of additional wefts of laminated thread which may cause a problem once the actual cleaning methods of metals can degrade the adjacent fibres . The fibres and the laminated thread were capable to withstand a soft cleaning which consisted in the application of distilled water8 and a neutral and anionic surfactant9. A test was performed on the smallest element of the ensemble, in the frontal upper right corner, which showed no alteration or risk for the metallic elements. The dimensions of the elements were recorded before and placed between tulle for easier handling and protection during the washing. A natural sponge was also occasionally used. After washing, the water excess was removed with white Turkish towels and flattened with weights. After this procedure, there was a considerable increase in the brightness of the silk fibres, despite their yellowing and ageing, as well as some metal-
lic sheen. The ink stains and those caused by humidity were reduced. The wrinkles and creases were successfully removed and the fibres in the areas of tears and lacunas were properly aligned. It was, thus, a fundamental step to improve the conservation state of the frontal. Consolidation by needlepoint This phase of the treatment was fundamental to return the mechanic stability to the object as it allowed to stabilise the areas with tears and lacunas and to consolidate the detached metallic elements. Although mechanic, this intervention it is completely reversible which brings significant advantages in terms of conservation. To this end, we resorted to the application of partial supports of natural silk10, fully compatible in material, density, malleability and colour with the original material. Each fabric support covered a field panel and the respective frontal. The stabilization of the tearings and lacunas and fixation of the detached laminated thread was performed using needlepoint with natural silk thread making perpendicular lines to the weft and regular spacing of approximately 5 mm. The number of stitches was the minimum required to the stabilization of degraded areas. In the areas with laminated threads the spacing was bigger (8-10 mm) in order not to be visible. At the end, some fixation points were performed to fix the silk support uniformly across the panels at regular space. After consolidation, a partial facing of nylon tulle was also applied for protection in the lower areas
8 Water is the most polar solvent that is known. It has the
capacity to dissolve organic and inorganic polar dirt, to dissolve the acidic degradation products of the fibers, and to serve as plasticizer agent of polymers, improving their flexibility and allowing the removal of deformations .
9 Tergitol NP9 (Nonylphenol Ethoxylate) was used to dissolve
http://www.dow.com/surfactants/products/nonylph.htm (accessed on 17/05/2009).
10 The use of support fabric of compatible material to the
original is an assurance that the new fabric will have a degradation pattern similar to that of the original silk, and will react similarly to the environmental factors.
polar and non polar dirt . Technical sheet available at:
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of the panels that presented lacunas (figure 8). Partial consolidation was performed in the galloon of contour and support fabric using, in this last case, partial supports of flax fibres. Reassembly of the frontal After the intervention, the frontal was reassembled on its position taking into consideration the order and original location of every individual item (panels, galloons and fringe). During the reassembly, the same stitches and lines of natural fibres were used (figure 9). Preventive Conservation Exposure and use Religious objects involve a symbolic nature for the use in the church for which they were created.
Figure 8. Detail of the area protected by tulle, before and after the intervention.
Figure 9. Detail of some areas from the frontal with tears, lacunas and detached metallic thread, before (a, c and e) and after (b, d, and f) the intervention.
Whenever the conservation state of the object allows it, it makes perfect sense to create systems for its display and use. The usual fixation method of the frontal to the altar was using nails, pins and even adhesive tape which caused damage to the frontal but also to the altar. In order to prevent further damage and to improve he display, the implementation of a new exhibition system was proposed. Textiles are fragile, sensitive to light and other degradation agents, and therefore the exposure time should be limited to short periods and resting periods should be scheduled. Thus, a removable display of easy assembly and transport in case of emergency was designed. A system was proposed that consisted in the construction of a wooden frame , of the same dimensions as the frontal (figure 10), which would match the bars and beams according to the distribution of the galloons, with the application of strips of Velcro® on all its extension. On the backside, a “lining” of washed cotton fabric was attached by needlepoint to the support fabric. Afterwards, some strips of Velcro® were also sewn to
that fabric in the area of the gallons, which it is more resistant, in order to apply Velcro® in the frame as well. The distribution of these strips was planned to obtain a balanced weight distribution, avoiding thus unnecessary stresses. Besides the main advantage of adequate exhibition, the frame presents other relevant advantages such as: the physical separation of the frontal from the altar and its reduced weight, facilitating thus its transport, even in case of emergency; the suspension of the frontal at some distance from the ground which will avoid further degradation of the lower areas and the accumulation of dirt; the possibility of using the frame with other similar frontals and its use in other places than the church. It is also advisable to protect the frontal during the exhibition in order to avoid the deposition of dirt and to prevent damage from visitors. The most effective protection would be to place in front of the altar an acrylic sheet with the same dimensions and preferably with UV protection, or at least a physical barrier to keep visitors at some distance during the ceremonies (figure 11). It is known that light is one of the main degradation factors of textiles, with cumulative effects and
Figure 10. Dimensions (cm) of the frame and application points of the Velcro® for fixing the frontal.
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Figure 11. Exhibition of the frontal mounted on the frame at the church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição in the Cathedral during the Easter Triduum. A barrier was placed in front of the altar for further protection.
causing irreversible damages to the fibres. Although churches are usually maintained in twilight, it is advisable to reduce the light exposure at the maximum and take appropriate preventive measures11. It is also strongly advised to expose the object for no more than 3 or 4 months, after which the object should be kept without light over a period of a few months. Another important aspect is that all the handling should be made with gloves and by more than one person due to its large dimensions. At the moment, the frontal is only used in the festive liturgical celebrations, namely on Easter and Christmas, for a maximum period of one month.
Packaging and storage Prior to the inventory of the textile collection of the Church of Piedade, the entire collection of about 300 objects was kept inside two wood chests in the church, being of a considerable volume for such a small space. Due to economic and space constraints, it was not possible to built a space with appropriated conditions for the conservation of the collection. Nevertheless, during the inventory it was possible to improve the storage conditions by implementing shelves to avoid the excessive overlapping, and rolls of silk paper in the folds to prevent the formation of creases.
11 The current maximum illumination value is 50 lux and in
case the UV radiation exceeds 75 µW/lm UV filters should be used in both lamps and windows .
The financial resources also did not allow the acquisition of special storage materials, known to the stable and chemically inert . A satisfactory low cost solution was implemented by the use of cotton cloth unbleached and previously washed, and white silk paper (ideally acid free). These materials should be washed and substituted on a regular basis (annually). Concerning the frontal, and given its dimensions, it was decided to store it rolled12 up with the front part, which is more voluminous, on the outside. The rolling was done on a tube longer than the frontal and with a diameter larger than 20 cm . The roll should not be too tight and it should be placed with an interface of other material to protect the surface of the object, and fixing the fabric with strips of tissue or Velcro®. On this case, previously washed and unbleached cotton fabric and a sealed cardboard tube were used as interface materials. The pieces were also properly labelled in a visible area for future reference. The environmental parameters from storage and exhibition areas should also be controlled in order to achieve values with minimal oscillations within relative humidity = 50 ± 5% and temperature = 20 ± 5 º C . Conclusions and Future Work The conservation-restoration intervention here reported was the starting point for the intervention on other textile items from the same collection as well as from other parishes in the Diocese of Santarém. The current Diocesan Commission for the Church Cultural Heritage from Santarém is the respons-
ible for establishing the link between the churches and accredited professionals, contributing thus to increase the awareness of the heritage holders, and promoting a closer coordination and collaboration to their real needs. Thus, joint efforts have already begun to help safeguard the assets and in particular of the religious textiles. Although the starting point has often few resources, it is our objective to overcome these initial limitations in order to solve new challenges and develop solutions for the preservation of this important heritage. The adaptation of theoretical concepts to reality is a continuous but essential challenge as the conservation-restoration is feasible within the search of balance between the real and the ideal.
Bibliography  E. Neves and M. Covas, “Igreja Piloto: Segurança, Conservação Preventiva e Inventário”, in E. Neves and J. Ganhão (coord.), Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Piedade, Santarém – História e Património, Diocese de Santarém, Santarém, 2008, pp. 52-57  E. Armindo, “A Colecção Têxtil da Igreja de Nossa Sra. da Piedade”, in E. Neves and J. Ganhão (coord.), Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Piedade, Santarém – História e Património, Diocese de Santarém, Santarém, 2008, pp. 122-129  T. Alarcão and J. A. S. Carvalho, Imagens em Paramentos Bordados. Séculos XIV a XVI, Instituto Português de Museus, Lisboa, 1993
12 Ideally, the frontal should be stored flattened in the
interior of a box or shelf. However, due to the space constraints, such thing was not possible.
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 T. Alarcão and P. Tomás, “A arte dos têxteis: os paramentos da Santa Casa da Misericórdia”, in J. Fonseca (coord.), Misericórdia de Montemor-o-Novo – História e Património, Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Montemor-oNovo, Montemor-o-Novo, 2008  C. A. Farnfield et al., Identification of Textile Materials, The Textile Institute, Manchester, 1985  A. Tímár-Balázsy and D. Eastop, Chemical Principles of Textile Conservation, Butterworth-Heinemann, London, 1998  P. M. Tomaz, “Estudo e Tratamento de uma Casula do Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga”, Conservar Património 1, 2005, pp. 55-62  C. Arruda and M. F. Godinho, “Trabalho de conservação e restauro de têxteis do Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Almoster”, Revista Estudos 4, 2003, pp. 78-80  J. Tétreault, “Display Materials: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, in J. Sarge (ed.), Exhibitions and Conservation. Pre-prints of the Conference held at The Royal College of Physicans, Edinburg, The Scottish Society for Conservation & Restoration (SSCR), 1994, pp. 79-87  J. Robinson and T. Pardoe, An Illustrated Guide to the Care of Costume and Textile Collections, Scottish Museums Council, 2000, available online at URL [pdf] (last visited on 17/05/2009)  Centre International d’Étude des Textiles Anciens, Vocabulário Português de Técnica Têxtil, C.I.E.T.A., Lyon, 1976
Textile Conservator Contact: email@example.com
Eva Armindo is a textile conservator-restorer. She has a Bachelor in Conservation and Restoration from the New University of Lisbon. She has worked as freelancer for a series of museums, religious and governmental institutions and at the moment she works, also as freelancer, at the Institute of Museums and Conservation (IMC IP.). She has published in national and international publications among which the latest at the ICOMCC 2008.
THE VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, BY THOMÁS LUIS
by Filipa Raposo Cordeiro
This paper aims to describe the study and scientific treatment of the 16th century panel painting "Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Elizabeth" by the painter Thomás Luis. At the present the painting is exhibited in its original location, the church of the Holy House of Mercy (HHM) from the old Aldeia Galega do Ribatejo, now the city of Montijo (Portugal). The systematic stages of the conservation intervention, based on the principles of authenticity, compatibility, stability, reversibility and differentiation, are here described. Criteria of de-restoration, re-restoration and exhibition are also discussed. The main objective of this paper is to sensitize the owners and future conservator-restorers to three key issues: the uniqueness of the cultural object (unicum), the authenticity (less is more), and the conservator-restorer versus other professionals.
THE VISITATION, BY THOMÁS LUIS
The Meaning of the Visitation at the Holy Houses of Mercy The HHM was founded in Lisbon by Queen Leonor of Portugal, influenced by her confessor Friar Miguel Contreiras, the same year the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India, in 1498. Later, this charity institution spread to other parts of the country. The HHM of the old Aldeia Galega do Ribatejo (now the city of Montijo), which had social and strategic importance due to its location near the Tagus river, was already known in 15551. The Visitation of the Virgin to St. Elizabeth, so far the only easel painting known by Thomás Luis, was commissioned by the founder of the HHM of Aldeia Galega, Nuno Alves Pereira, to the mannerist painter Thomás Luis (also named “Thomás Luis B”  or “Thomas Lewis” ). The preference for this painter might be explained by the fact that the founder maintained connections with the House of Braganza  for whom he worked in Vila Viçosa, namely at one ceiling at the Monastery of Chagas (c. 1595-1600), and four ceilings at the Ducal Palace (1602-c.1603). A decade after the construction of the church (15711578)2 the HHM commissioned the altarpiece that would receive the Visitation by Thomás Luis (figure 1). The theme of the Visitation, the meeting between the one that helps and the one that needs to be helped, is deeply connected to the spirituality of the Houses of Mercy, hence being its patron . The day of the Visitation was established by a royal charter of King Manuel I at June 17, 1516. The HHM of Aldeia Galega is currently a private institution of social solidarity engaged in the practice of Christian charity and whose main objective is, according to the 1993 commitment, to make "acts of social solidarity and Catholic worship"3.
Figure 1. Localization of the Visitation altarpiece in the Church of the Holy house of mercy in the old Aldeia Galega do Ribatejo.
The technique and the original materials The interdisciplinary study of the technique used in the Visitation revealed that the work is the intervention of three artists. This is essential for the comprehension of the technique used and the role of artisans and painters in the Portuguese painting of the late 16th century in the context of contemporary European painting. At that time, the panel ground was not prepared by painters. The carpenter's workshop acquired the wood, prepared the board surfaces and built the frames, friezes and columns. In cities where the painting “industry” was somehow developed there were often guilds of carpenters specialized in the preparation of wood panels and frames.
1 The founding date of Aldeia Galega do Ribatejo is not con-
sensual. According to José Simões Quaresma, it may have been founded in 1520. In J. S. Quaresma, “Albergaria, Hospital e Misericórdia de Aldeia-Galega do Ribatejo”, Author’s edition, 1948
2 The construction of the church was authorized by royal
charter from King Sebastian at July 17, 1571. The mason Fernão Fidalgo worked in the church from 1571 to 1578. In J. S. Quaresma, op. cit, 1948
3 Recovered in November 15, 2008; www.misericordiadomontijo.pt
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Documents revealed the Visitation’s altarpiece wooden support was commissioned to a Flemish master. In August 1588, the HHM ombudsman Diogo Botelho hired the master carpenter Jacques (or Jácome) de Campos, that was living in Lisbon at the time, to execute an altarpiece for the Church of Mercy for the price of “one hundred and twenty thousand reis” . The monumental panel (291.5 x 212 cm), composed of 8 boards with vertical wood grain according to the board’s height, is assembled with double dovetails and reinforced with horizontal wood bars (unfortunately lost) united by thin hand-forged four-side nails, and with triangular heads, inserted from the front side (figures 2-4). The use of nails in this particular way was known in contemporary Spanish and Italian panels. The wooden longitudinal and transversal support sections were analyzed with the help of a dichotomous table to determine the type of tree specimen used . Thus, it was concluded that the wood is a deciduous Quercus, more precisely an oak tree which is very common in Portugal, especially in Lisbon, and that was also imported from the Baltic countries through merchants from Bruges and Antwerp.
In May 16, 1591 the ombudsman António da Gama de Mendonça hired two artists, also from Lisbon: Thomás Luis, oil painter , and Domyngues Pachequo [Domingos Pacheco], tempera painter , who would perform the gilding of the columns and the upper frieze according to a 1592 receipt . The two artists signed the aforementioned receipt that refers to a “middle panel painting”. By the monumental dimension of the painting and its subject, the Visitation is likely to be the center panel of the altarpiece, finished in 1592 . It is plausible that the receipt could refer to the application of the ground layer which was a task performed by craftsmen in the 16th century. The ground of the Visitation, most probably applied by Domingos Pacheco, is composed of one layer with the thickness of 122 µm  (analyzed by optical microscopy – OM –, and polarized light microscopy – PLM ), composed of gypsum and skin glue . The material identification was possible by the use of micro chemical tests (MT) complemented with X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR) . The painting was subjected to infrared reflectography (IRR) up to 2000 nm although no underdrawing was observed.
Figure 2. Double dovetail socket on the back of the wood panel. Figure 3. Schema showing the nail connection between the wood beam and the panel. Figure 4. Original nails, oxidized and without structural function, removed during the 2003-2004 intervention.
THE VISITATION, BY THOMÁS LUIS
The presence of a localized coloured imprimatura  was detected by close observation of the painting with a magnifying glass and by microscopic analysis (OM and PLM) in some of the eight samples removed. This is a yellowish layer with a thickness of 63-70 µm that was not applied for physical reasons, as a sealing intermediate layer between the ground and the paint layer but, apparently, it had an optical function that affected the tones of the subjacent paint layers in the following areas: the Virgin’s mantle; Saint Isabel robes, namely the cap, cloak and tunic; and the carnation and bonnet strip of the second female character. Thomás Luis applied in general two to four paint layers of an average thickness between 20 and 80 µm. Only occasionally, with an incidence of two from the eight areas analyzed, the painter used thick paint layers: one, with a thickness of 121 µm, is a layer that corresponds to a pentimento (repentance or, more precisely, an hesitation of the painter in the orange robe of Saint Isabel) while the second, with a thickness of 166 µm, corresponds to a layer of azurite (on the bonnet strip of the second female character), which required to be applied thick to achieve a good colour saturation. The pigments were analyzed using several optical and analytical techniques, namely OM, PLM, MT, XRF and FTIR. Seven pigments were identified: azurite, charcoal, yellow ochre, vermilion, red ochre, lead white and a brown which is most likely raw umber . The excellent cohesion and adhesion between the paint layers confirms that the execution was correct. Thomás Luis, however, applied paint layers and velatura in certain areas which, with the inevitable natural aging of the materials, allow the observation of the underlying pentimenti. This is an authenticity factor in the painting.
Above the oak support, the following structure and materials are observed: ground layer made of a protein-based binder and inorganic filler; absence of underdrawing; localized yellowish imprimatura made of inorganic and organic pigments with egg and oil mediums; two to four paint layers with inorganic and organic pigments and the same two previously mentioned mediums; and an old resinous protective layer . Historic Background The painting was found as a fragment and in an extremely poor conservation state. However, the historical background of the artefact helped to comprehend the forms and extension of the observed severe degradation. After its creation, the Visitation reached its apogee, followed by a decadent period. Most likely, the painting was in good conservation state for a century and a half after it was commissioned once a 1710 document  refers to works in the church but mentions nothing concerning the painting. After the 1755 earthquake the church was subject to major works in the main chapel although unfortunately those were not described in detail. It is likely that during those works the painting had been removed from its place and treated carelessly because in 1768 it was already described as in “state of oldness and ineligibleness” . In 1789-90, the HHM of Aldeia Galega hired the carpenter Eusébio dos Santos and the painter-gilder Matias Gomes Neto to perform works in the main altar . Considered useless, it is most likely that the painting was used at this precise time as a work support judging by the long incisions (vertical, horizontals and even semi-circular from compass) that are present on the painting’s surface. The almost definitive decadence of the painting occurred probably in 1799 when the painter Manuel António Araújo was hired to paint a new
FILIPA RAPOSO CORDEIRO
Visitation for the tribune . At that time the painting was used for an alternative objective: as a wooden wall of the 18th century Church of Mercy’s tribune. For this purpose, the painting was mutilated, cut and chopped on both its back and front. Its bars were torn out and discarded, leaving some of the nails that connected them to the panel. After being fitted in the tribune, it was repainted with white paint were it was visible, on 90% of its surface. Punctually, the support presented a localized old wood attack whose occurrence can’t be dated with precision. The painting was forgotten for over two centuries until its providential discovery in 1998 (figure 5). Afterwards, the painting was subject to two conservation and restoration intervention in the space of half a decade. The 1998 discovery was an important contribution to the history of Portuguese Mannerist painting, in particular for the work of the master Thomás Luis. Before this finding the painter was known as an oil and fresco painter, although only examples of the latter technique were known. Following its discovery, the painting was subject to a first intervention that was performed in two phases. The first phase consisted in the cleaning of the paint layer which involved the removal of the white paint, the varnish and “three paint layers” . As Serrão refers, this intervention only contributed to “enlarge the wounds” of the painting through “an unfortunate intervention that was uninformed (and not supervised)”  (figure 6). The outlines of an underlying painting (painter’s pentimenti), hardly visible by naked eye, have probably suggested to the 1998 technicians the existence of an older painting. Thus, they opted to sacrifice “three paint layers” to uncover the supposedly older painting. The criteria of intervention were not applied in thoughtful and critical manner, without prior knowledge of the technique
Figure 5. Discovery of the Visitation by Thomás Luis in 1998.
and original painting and causing two irreversible pathologies: leaching4, with loss of original paint layers (figures 7-9) and the rare pathology transposition5 (figures 10-12). Beyond these alterations, the intervention also left residues of the white paint and varnish (figures 13-15). The analysis of the paint layer under normal light and ultraviolet (UV) radiation allowed the detection of extensive areas where the varnish was intact, not removed, and others with dispersed residues (figures 16-17). The second phase of the 1998 intervention covered also the “curative conservation”  treatment, which included the removal of the boards from the 18th century tribune and the placement of
4 Leaching is caused by the cleaning with a solvent that reacts
with the material to preserve. Upon contact of the paint layer with the molecules of a solvent or mixture the medium is weakened; when the solvent evaporates there is contraction of the paint layer and loss of medium and pigment. The danger of leaching lies in its irreversibility.
5 Transposition, term introduced by the author in 2003 in an
interdisciplinary meeting, is, like leaching, caused by an inadequate cleaning. The main difference is that while in the leaching a partial loss of the paint layer occurs, in transposition the paint layer is displaced to a neighboring area. After the swelling of the paint layer in response to an inadequate solvent, it can occasionally be transposed mechanically form its original place to a nearest area causing alteration of the physical and optical characteristics of the painting.
THE VISITATION, BY THOMÁS LUIS
Figure 6. Panel after the conservation and restoration intervention from 1998.
FILIPA RAPOSO CORDEIRO
Figures 7-9. Details of the paint layer in poor condition with leaching and visible underlying paint strata, including pentimenti on the Virgin’s hand and the band and tunic of Saint Isabel.
Figures 10-15. Details of the Visitation. Pictorial layer in poor conservation condition. Note the transpositions in the brim and crown of the Virgin’s hat and the mantle of Santa Isabel, and varnish and white paint scattered residues.
Figures 16-17. Detail from the same area of the tunic and mantle of the Virgin under normal light and UV radiation. Scattered varnish residues can be observed over the original paint layer in heterogeneously cleaned areas and in areas where the varnish was not removed, that have the same fluoresce under UV radiation.
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THE VISITATION, BY THOMÁS LUIS
eight new bars for the panel stabilization. It also included a punctual “restoration”  of the support and paint layer, namely the filling of the gaps with plywood and monochromatic retouching with a light pink tone  possibly for readability of the painting (aesthetic intervention). The cleaning was not completed. The painting remained for half a decade with varnish to be removed. The leaching, transpositions and varnish residues were only detected above the “white line” left between the cleaned areas (that had been painted in white) and the areas that were hidden in the tribune structure, thus without white paint, and that were in good conservation state except for the oxidized varnish. The chronological analysis of the Visitation allowed to detect that the pathologies were caused by three different degradation factors: environmental, biological and anthropological. The last factor was the main one and the most dangerous of all. The second and last intervention, herein described in detail, was performed between 2003 and 2004. Scientific Treatment Because of the magnitude of the problems the painting presented, the Visitation was subjected to a complex, lengthy, rigorous and interdisciplinary study and conservation-restoration intervention that involved thee different specialists: the conservator-restorer, a chemical engineer and an art historian. Unfortunately this practice which is fundamental for the proper preservation of the cultural property authenticity is still rare in Portugal. The treatment based on scientific criteria was divided into two phases: a direct intervention (curative conservation and restoration) and an indirect intervention (preventive conservation). The first phase focused on three groups of materials: metallic elements, wood support and
paint layer (ground, imprimatura, paint layer and varnish). The original metallic elements were removed where possible and kept for future reference. The remaining nails were treated in three steps: cleaning (removal of oxidation products), stabilization and protection. The treatment of the support aimed to complete the previous intervention and to return the original rectangular form to the painting. The conservation intervention included the following steps: removal of the plywood, cleaning, board levelling, placement of two missing reinforcement bars and substitution of five reinforcement bars by two, filling of gaps (total lacunas and some partial lacunas), punctual consolidation, and insecticide application on the back of the panel (preventive action). Only one step of restoration was done to the new support fillings, namely the inpainting with a brown monochromatic glaze tone similar to the original wood. Three stages of conservation were performed for the paint layer - cleaning, filling and protection, and one of restoration - inpainting. The cleaning was performed in five different stages and with equipment and products according to the type of material to remove. The stages were: superficial cleaning and removal of transpositions, white paint residues, resinous varnish residues and retouching with punctual monochromatic light pink overpaint. This paper refers to the criteria and results of the removal of three alteration products: transpositions, retouching with punctual overpaint and varnish. The transpositions, the monochromatic retouching and overpainting altered the painting reading and raised the problematic of de-restoration  which requires the comparison of the technical,
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Figures 18-19. Same detail of the Visitation under normal light and IR radiation.
aesthetic and documental (or historic) character of those interventions. In this sense, one of the problems of these interventions is discussed in this study. Behind the Virgin’s head there is an object that could not be clearly identified. That area may be seen in detail in figure 18. The object, most likely a column, could have been painted to hide the hat pentimento, could be an overpaint or a rare degradation. Could the hat, in the place of the frequent halo, be an innovative attribute used by Thomás Luis on the Visitation? Although no underdrawing was detected on the entire painting surface, the IR reflectography highlighted the existence a thin hat crown, not visible at naked eye, and that was transformed by the painter into a much larger crown (figures 18-19). The Visitation Virgin’s peregrine hat resembles that of Raimondi's engraving Flight into Egypt, which was based on an engraving by Dürer, and another painted by Tomás Luis with a different iconographic value, profane and playful, in the fresco’s ceiling at the Évora Palace Counts of Basto, Eugénio de Almeida Foundation.
In 1563 the Council of Trent defined the standards of religious iconography. Saint Charles Borromeo, who played a decisive role in that council, mentions in his book Instructiones fabricae et supellectilis ecclesiasticae (1577) that the saints should be distinguished by a “halo” . At the same time, Cardinal Paleotti recommended in his Discorso intorno alle imagini sacre e profane (1582) that the sacred character should be represented by symbols that believers were used to observe . The painter Francisco Pacheco, contemporary of Thomás Luis, writes in his treaty Arte de la Pintura (1649) that the Virgin from the Visitation should be represented with a “hat”  although there is no mention of the halo. It is possible that Thomás Luis was influenced by Pacheco’s treaty. However, Thomás didn’t follow the counter-reformist rules and, instead of the halo around the Virgin’s head, he placed an innovative hat. The Visitation by Thomás Luis might be the oldest example of mannerist’s painting that used only this attribute. The column that covered the hat crown (figure 18) was indeed a transposition. This pathology was also visible in other areas of the painting such as on the hat’s brim and on the mantle of Saint Isabel. The transpositions’ craquelure in the three areas
THE VISITATION, BY THOMÁS LUIS
previously mentioned did not match the aged craquelure in the direction of the wood grain of the final paint layer. The presence of this alteration modified the aesthetic and historical reading of the work, confusing the observer. To undertake any conservation intervention it is fundamental to consider always the need and the feasibility of a curative treatment without forgetting that there are no standard treatments. When tests do not show effective results that respect, in the best interest of the object and to help preserve its authenticity, more experienced professionals should be consulted or the task should be postponed until future technologic advances are available. According to Cesare Brandi each artwork is unique (‘unicum’), cultural property can never be compensated for a unfortunate conservation work .
Figure 20. Detail of the Virgin before treatment. Note the horizontal, vertical and oblique directions from the transpositions in the column, hat, veil, hair and ear of the Virgin.
After testing different methods and products, it was found that it is possible to remove the transpositions without leaving marks. In fact, although the transposed painting had a reasonable cohesion, it had a weak adherence to the original paint layer which presented a high resistance to mechanical removal. The removal of the transpositions was thus performed with the help of a scalpel and a magnifying glass and a binary solution of non polar organic solvents used solely for visualization. The varnish residues, subjacent to the transposition, were removed with solvent gel. This way it was possible to save precious details, previously hidden under the transpositions, such as the Virgin’s golden hair locks and Her hat knot and cord (figures 20 and 21). Apparently, the monochromatic pink retouching was stable and there was no risk for the physical
Figure 21. Detail of the Virgin after treatment. Note the knot of the virgin hat’s cord that before was almost imperceptible among the lacunas, transpositions and varnish residues.
FILIPA RAPOSO CORDEIRO
or chemical integrity of the painting. However, in ranking light it was seen that it covered punctually the original paint layer altering its aesthetic reading in areas such as the sky and the few cloud traces. The 30 mm thick light pink overpaint was analyzed by MT and FTIR and was made of titanium white and an oil-based binder (figure 22). The overpaint that
was applied in the previous intervention was progressively removed using a binary solution of non polar organic solvents, leaving untouched the original paint layer (figures 23 and 24). The red-brown varnish layer was removed with the help of a carefully selected solvent gel, due to its
Figure 22. FTIR spectrum of the light pink overpaint. Calcium carbonate, organic black (?) and oil were detected.
Figure 23. Detail of the sky before conservation treatment (2003-2004). The lacunas borders from the original paint layer (arrow) can be observed, as well as the support without paint layer (X), hidden by inpainting and pink overpaint (ranking light).
Figure 24. Detail of the sky during the removal of the retouching and punctual overpaint: 1- Progressive removal of the pink inpainting over the support; 2- Pink overpaint over the original sky; 3- Varnish under overpaint.
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advantages, such as the control of the solvent’s action by its limited area of actuation and its reduced toxicity. It was prepared with a ternary mixture of solvents, two organic and one hydrophilic. The level of cleaning was attained using UV radiation. Since the painting had large lacunas that disturbed its aesthetic reading, the interdisciplinary team considered several options for inpainting: general inpainting; punctual inpainting in the central vertical area; re-restoration of the upper left corner (already retouched in 1998); or minimum intervention, leaving them in the tone of aged wood. It was decided that the large gaps of the paint layer should not be reintegrated and that new additions should be exclusively integrated with a brown tone, as previously referred. This way, the conservatorrestorer does not take the role of the artist, nor is he/she inventing new figurative forms that never existed as sometimes still happens, originating ambiguous historical, aesthetic and iconographic readings. Given this criterion, it was preceded to the filling of gaps within the limits of the existent drawing with a water-based material fully compatible with the original ones, being stable and reversible. It was also decided to perform a restoration stage by selezione cromatica inpainting with the objective to facilitate the comprehension of the fragmented work. First, tempera based tones were applied and later glazes with pigments in an acrylic binder. Between these two stages of inpainting a thin layer of varnish (cyclohexanone) was applied to act as barrier against external degradation agents. The inpainting was performed based on laboratorial analysis and according to traces of the original paint layer. The cross-section analysis of the Virgin’s tunic (chest area) was fundamental for the understanding of
the inpainting in that area because it confirmed the existence of an underlying green layer. In the inferior area of Saint Isabel orange tunic the inpainting was also based on the scientific analysis results. The cross-section analysis revealed that the beige drapery that crosses the orange tunic of Saint Isabel corresponds to a hesitation of the painter with two overlying paint layers, orange over pink, almost removed in a previous inadequate cleaning. The mentioned layers are based on the same organic and inorganic pigments and mediums (oil and egg) as in the other seven samples aforementioned. These data allowed us to reintegrate the Saint Isabel orange tunic with regard to the original technique and to the painter's intentions (figures 30 and 31). In an interdisciplinary meeting between the specialists it was also decided not to cover the pentimento visible in the Virgin’s right hand in order to allow future studies and to make the public aware of the dangers of uncritical cleanings. The pentimento seen because of the materials natural aging, which increases transparency in the top paint layers and leaves the underlayers visible, such as in the face of the second character (figure 12), was not covered due to its importance as authenticity elements – 'less is more'. The Visitation is not less valuable if it shows signs of patina. The inpainting done on selected areas where original paint layers were lost or abraded, was performed with carefully selected materials - compatible, reversible and stable -, and taking into account the environmental conditions of the church. In the second phase of the treatment, preventive conservation guidelines were offered to HHM on a voluntary basis concerning the light, relative humidity, fire, water, accidental impacts and vibrations. The phase also included a project for the proper placement and exhibiting of the work on a wooden structure .
FILIPA RAPOSO CORDEIRO
Figure 30. General view of the painting during conservation treatment (filling of lacunas).
THE VISITATION, BY THOMÁS LUIS
Figure 31. General view of the painting after the conservation treatment.
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In view of the authenticity of the “setting” and “function” (devotional), two of the authenticity parameters defined in the UNESCO’s 1994 Nara Document  and in the UNESCO’s, ICCROM’s and ICOMOS’s 1977 Paris Document , the painting was exhibited near its original location, in the church’s main chapel, without relocating it, and making it available to cult (figure 32). The task of the conservator-restorer is similar to that of a 'surgeon'  (ICOM-CC Ethics Code, 1984), and entails knowing how to evaluate the impact of his actions. The conservator-restorer “is not an artist nor a craftsman”  (E.C.C.O. Ethics Code, 1993), it is his role to preserve the authenticity of cultural property for our benefit and that of future generations. Photographic Credits Figure 5: Municipal Historic Archive of Montijo (AHMM), photographic documentation of the 1998’s intervention on the Visitation by Thomás Luis, unpublished report; Figures 17, 19 and 27: I. Ribeiro, P. Sousa, F. R. Cordeiro, Visitação da Virgem, IMC IP. Archives, José de Figueiredo Laboratory, Lisbon, 2004, unpublished report ; The other figures: F. R. Cordeiro, Visitation of the Virgin Mary to Saint Elisabeth, Photographic Docu-mentation Archive of Veritage, Preservação de Bens Culturais Lda, Estoril, 2003/2004. Acknowledgments Filipa Raposo Cordeiro thanks to: the Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology (FCT) for the PhD Scholarship for the study of Thomás Luis work; Vítor Serrão (IHA/FLUL), art historian and thesis coordinator; João Gaspar, Montijo HHM
Figure 32. The painting exhibited in the main chapel of the church.
ombudsman; Tenente-Coronel José Manuel Sarreira Lopes, old ombudsman; Manuel Cortiço, old Montijo HHM secretary; Dr. Maria José Moinhos, from the Conservation Department of the Institute for the Management of the Archaeological and Architectural Heritage (IGESPAR IP.); Isabel Ribeiro, chemical engineer and director of the Laboratory José de Figueiredo of the Institute of Museums and Conservation (IMC IP.); Dr. Maria do Céu Ramos, director of Eugénio de Almeida Foundation and to the team of Veritage, Preservação de Bens Culturais, Lda. that was involved in the Thomás Luis Visitation last treatment.
 F. R. Cordeiro, “Thomás Luis, pintor maneirista do sacro e do profano: história, conservação e restauro”, undergoing PhD thesis, Institute of Art History/Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon, Lisbon, 2009  Simancas - Consejo de Estado, nº 839, Junho de 1594, in V. Serrão, IHA/ FLUL, Lisbon, unpublished document, 23 May 2009  AHMM, Lº 1º dos Inventarios desta Santa Caza da Mizª, 1586-1589, fl. 25, in V. Serrão and F. R. Cordeiro, Tomás Luís e o Retábulo da Igreja
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da Misericórdia, Edições Colibri/ Câmara Municipal do Montijo, Lisboa, 2005  J. Vasconcellos, Identificação de Madeiras pelos seus Caracteres Macroscópicos, Agros, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Lisboa, 1929  AHMM, Maço de avulsos da Mizª, sécs. XVI-XVII, in V. Serrão, O Maneirismo e o Estatuto Social dos Pintores Portugueses, Ed. Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda, Lisboa, 1983  I. Ribeiro, P. Sousa, F. R. Cordeiro, Visitação da Virgem, IMC IP. Archives, José de Figueiredo Laboratory, Lisboa, 2004, unpublished report  ‘Os Painéis da igreja da Misericórdia do Montijo’, Nova Gazeta, 26 de Novembro de 1999, in V. Serrão, F. R. Cordeiro, Tomás Luís e o Retábulo da Igreja da Misericórdia, Edições Colibri/ Câmara Municipal do Montijo, Lisboa, 2005  Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Montijo, Ofício ref.ª 614/04, 07/12/2004, photographic documentation  V. Serrão, “O pintor maneirista Tomás Luís e o antigo retábulo da igreja da Misericórdia de Aldeia Galega do Ribatejo (1591-1597)”, Artis - Revista do Instituto de História da Arte da Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa, nº 1, Centro de História da Universidade de Lisboa/FLUL/FCT, Lisboa, 2002, pp. 211-235  F. Figueira, “Terminologia para a definição da conservação-restauro do património cultural material, Resolução aprovada pelos membros do ICOM-CC durante o 15º Encontro Trienal, Nova Dehli, 22-26 de Setembro de 2008”, translation and adaptation of the french version, Conservar Património, nº 6, ARP, Lisboa, 2007, pp. 55-56  Oral testimony by Florindo da Silva Gonçalves, main craftsman from the extinct Institute José de Figueiredo, actual IMC IP. (private work).  F. Tollon, “Quelques questions sur la de-restauration“, Restauration, De-Restauration, Re-Restauration, 4ième Colloque de l’Association des Restaurae-conser vation
teus d’Art et d’Arqueologie de Formation Universitaire, Paris, 1995, pp. 9 -16  C. Brandi, Teoria del Restauro, Giulio Einaudi Editore, Torino, 1977  J. M. A. P. Costa, “Estudos Cromáticos nas Intervenções de Conservação em Centros Históricos”, LNEC/University of Évora, PhD thesis, Évora, 1999  A. I. Seruya (Dir.), Cadernos de Conservação e Restauro, Ano 1, nº 2, Instituto Português de Conservação e Restauro, Lisboa, 2001
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Conservator-Restorer Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Filipa Raposo Cordeiro is a paintings conservatorrestorer with 16 years experience. She graduated in 1995 from the Superior School of Conservation and Restoration (ESCR) of Lisbon, with a specialisation of in easel paintings. Afterwards, she performed international internships in several institutions, among which the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, the Canadian Conservation Institute and the Victoria & Albert Museum. She also founded the company Veritage, Preservação de Bens Culturais Lda., dedicated to conservation and restoration of works of art. At the moment she is a PhD candidate with the thesis “Thomás Luis, mannerist painter of the holly and the profane”, oriented by Professor Vítor Serrão, at the Institute of Art History (Faculty of Letters) from the University of Lisbon.
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No. 13, February 2010 LICENCE ISSN: 1646-9283 Registration Number Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5
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