Sydney is in danger of running out of local sandstone to repair its nineteenth-century buildings, according to a team of conservators working for the New South Wales government. Much of the city is built in a soft, golden sandstone that is noted for its rich colour and its uniformity. However, many of the local quarries have now been built over or disused, making it difficult for the conservators to obtain suitable stone for replacements and repairs.
The tea clipper Cutty Sark, which was damaged by a fire in May 2007, has been awarded £10 million for conservation costs by the UK's Heritage Lottery Fund. The story of the fire and its immediate aftermath was covered in the August 2007 issue of News in Conservation.
Following a meeting in December of more than 100 conservators in Tel Aviv, Israel now has a professional body for conservation. The new organisation will be known as the Israeli Society for the Conservation and Preservation of Cultural Property, and will bring together conservators in the private and public sectors. The organisation will be involved in professional conservation matters, including training, continuing professional development and the representation of conservators in the legal and political arenas.
The fifty-third Annual General Meeting of The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works will be held in the Sackler Rooms at the British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC2, on Friday 8th February 2008 at 4.00 pm. After the formal business is concluded, Kazuko Hioki will give a talk on the Japanese Kura approach to conservation storage. A summary of Ms Hioki's talk is given below.
From Japanese Tradition: Is Kura a Model for a Sustainable Preservation Environment?
The UK's Textile Conservation Centre (TCC) will close in 2009, following a financial review by its parent institution. The TCC, which is run by the University of Southampton, has a Conservation Services department that carries out conservation and analytical services for museums and private clients. Despite this, the centre required annual subsidy from the university to make up its budget shortfall.
Four "cultural guerillas" were charged, and cleared, last week of breaking into Paris' eighteenth-century PanthÃ©on when it emerged that they had been secretly restoring the building's antique clock. The restorers were members of a gang of "urban explorers" called Untergunther, which undertakes clandestine restoration of urban heritage. They have previously restored medieval church crypts and organised secret nighttime plays in cultural monuments.
Icon, the UK's Institute of Conservation, last month announced its intention to withdraw from the membership of ECCO (the European Confederation of Conservator-Restorers' Organisations). The move followed disagreements about the education requirements for entry to the conservation profession, and about how open conservation members' organisations should be in their membership. The ECCO membership consists of 18 European conservation associations, including bodies from France, Germany, Scandinavia and Slovakia.
Chemists from the University of Florence have proposed a new way of cleaning paintings using nanomagnetic sponges. According to a paper published in the American Chemical Society's interdisciplinary journal Langmuir in August, magnetised nanoparticles can be incorporated into a polyacrylamide gel which is then loaded with a microemulsion or other solution and can be used to clean paintings.
Vibrations from rock concerts are damaging windows and