Category Archives: Conservation

Ancient mosaics from a synagogue

Mosaics dating to the late Roman period have been found in a synagogue in modern Israel “challenge current notions of ancient Jewish aesthetics and the art of depicting scripture.”

Sarah E. Bond, “Discovery of Jewish Mosaics in Israel Bring Color to Biblical Accounts,” Hyperallergic, 7/20/18.

Fish swallowing Pharoah’s soldier in the Parting of the Red Sea

Conservators at the Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii

(Pasquale Sorrentino)
The stunning frescoes of the Villa of the Mysteries include one room with a painted frieze widely considered to depict an initiation rite into the cult of Dionysus, the god of wine, pictured at the center of this panel.

“Saving the Villa of the Mysteries: Beneath the surface of Pompeii’s most famous house,” By JARRETT A. LOBELL, Monday, February 10, 2014

Archaeology, A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America 

Conservators in the spotlight

A new trend in art conservation has conservators working in public places…not in the conservation lab, but in galleries where the public may watch. Is this good for the art? “The public” aren’t wearing lab coats, nor are they always in small groups (more people = more humidity = more damage to works of art). One could also ask, Is it good for the public? Chemicals are (sometimes) involved in conservation. Here is an article from The New York Times that provides interesting background.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 12.45.03 PM

Showtime at the Musée d’Orsay: Watching Varnish Dry

Paris flooded and the Louvre threatened

How does a museum plan for a massive flood? The Louvre has had to face a potentially devastating flood this summer. Their decision to close to the public while staff prepared the collection for removal to higher levels was necessary.

New York Times, “Crowds Are Out, Crates Are In as Louvre Takes Flood Precautions,” b

Artworks were packed to be moved from the Louvre Museum’s storeroom to the exhibition halls, where they would be less vulnerable to rising flood waters. Credit Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

Artworks were packed to be moved from the Louvre Museum’s storeroom to the exhibition halls, where they would be less vulnerable to rising flood waters. Credit Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images.

More on Syria’s archaeological ruins

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.13.50 AM

Above: A walnut tree stripped of its branches stands in the rubble of the Kalat al-Numan citadel, originally built during the Roman era some 2,000 years ago. (John Cantlie/AFP/Getty Images)

“Syria’s ancient sites were already damaged by war. Now they’re being looted.” The Washington Post, 12/21/14.

And a link from the above article to satellite images of Syria’s World Heritage sites:

“War has damaged all but one of Syria’s World Heritage Sites, satellite images show.” The Washington Post, 9/24/14.

And a link to UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list.