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the online magazine No. 16, October 2010

Contemporary Art Wall Clock by PaulaArt

The Gap in Conservation In recent conversations with fresh PhD graduates I have unfortunately noticed an increasing tendency: towards unemployment. To a conservator-restorer or a conservation-scientist, a PhD is synonym of higher specialisation, also a better job and a higher salary. At least that is the illusion that exists before one obtains it. For some, a PhD is a life goal worthy of achievement. For others, it is merely a means to reach an objective, usually to ensure a university position. Independently of the reason why one does it, it is true that there is a life before the PhD and another after it. More and more, life before the PhD is full of expectations while life after it is quite different than one would have imagined, often in a very disappointing way. This is not a problem restricted to conservation, but it's becoming more and more accentuated because PhDs in our field are a fairly recent thing, most being less than 10 years old. Despite that, PhD programs seem to create problems instead of filling the gaps in our training or solving the problems in the field of cultural heritage. Part of the problem is in the academic sphere itself: after all there is definitely a market for training PhD students. It's academic economics and its all about demand and supply. When a university creates a PhD program it attracts more students, increases funds and raises status. After all, it is a business like any other and more than ever universities are competing with one another. But the bitter truth is that Academia doesn't really care about their students' career prospects. The goal is to have lots of students in order to help support their facilities and their staff, staff which are required to have a PhD. Even if you do eventually get a university position, you must bring in a new generation of students to keep afloat the department and subsequently your own job, perpetuating the system and thus, the problem. In the last decade several PhD courses have appeared in European Universities, in some countries more than others, in order to offer the three different levels of European tertiary education and to be one of the exclusive few to do so. When PhD students graduate some are absorbed by Academia to complement their staff, normally as post-doctorates with scholarships, while others are left on their own. At the end of the day, PhDs are low-paid and treated as merely temporary workers during the years they spend training for faculty positions that are virtually inexistent. What is the result of the current scenario? Unturn any stone and you will find many unemployed Doctorate graduates, others surviving on public funding, or going from post-doc to post-doc anywhere they can. Many resigning themselves and settle for lower job positions, which in the present economical climate are also hard to find. Opposed to Academia, other fields have the Industry which absorbs a great part of PhD graduates. However, this is practically non-existent in conservation and clearly insufficient to absorb many of the hundreds of highly skilled Doctors that are being trained every year. On the other side, politics are a great part of the problem. When government funding is common knowledge and widely available, students often consider pursuing a PhD because it ensures an income for at least a few years. But in fact this is all part of a bigger scheme that starts by attracting students to undergraduate conservation-restoration courses, often lured in by the highly publicized popular idea that if there is cultural heritage in need of conservation it is because there's a lack of professionals to conserve or restore it. Far from the truth, these new generations, attracted by a real interest in heritage, will later join the increasingly large mass of skilful but unemployed professionals. This is equally true for conservation-scientists who often specialize in heritage during their PhD thesis. It may be a much needed area of input, but while the training programs are increasing I don't see a higher number of positions being filled or even on offer for that matter. When will this paradigm change? Is it likely that this will only happen when the system is already near a state of absolute collapse? Right now, it simply doesn't pay to get a PhD. Rui Bordalo Editor-in-Chief
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Location e Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition Picasso in e Metropolitan Museum of Art Time April 27, 2010 August 15, 2010 Glazing Tru Vue Optium Museum Acrylic

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Pablo Picasso, At the Lapin Agile, 1905, The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1992, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002 (1992.391); The Actor, 190405, Gift of Thelma Chrysler Foy, 1952 (52.175); Saltimbanque in Pro le, 1905, Bequest of Sco eld Thayer, 1982 (1984.433.269). All works from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Don Pollard. Tru Vue, the Tru Vue logo, Optium, Optium Acrylic and Optium Museum Acrylic are registered trademarks, and Optium Museum Display Acrylic is a trademark of Tru Vue, Inc, McCook, IL USA. 2010 Copyright Tru Vue, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Pot Healer, I Need You

By Daniel Cull

REVIEWS SEM and Microanalysis in the Study of Historical Technology, Materials and Conservation
September 9-10, 2010, London, UK Review by Ana Bidarra


Western Association for Art Conservation (WAAC) Annual Meeting

September 15 - 18, 2010, Portland, Oregon Review by Daniel Cull


NEWS Devastating Flood in Ladakh, India A Support Program by Tibet Heritage Fund
By Andre Alexander



November 2010


Identification of Ivory Book Covers and Comparison to Ivory Portrait Miniatures

By Josie Wornoff


Microbial Study of Egyptian Mummies An Assessment of Enzyme Activity, Fungicides and Some Mummification Materials for the Inhibition of Microbial Deterioration
by Abdelrazek Elnaggar, Ahmed Sahab, Siham Ismail, Gamal Mahgoub and Mohammed Abdelhady



Study of the painting Virgin Mary and Child with the Infant St. John the Baptist The Hidden Flora of Leonardo da Vincis Painting Workshop
By Mikls Szentkirlyi


"The Annunciation" by Cola Petruccioli (1380) The Restoration of the Transferred Wall Painting
By Ildik Jeszeniczky

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news & view


By Daniel Cull
"I like to build universes that do fall apart [...] objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live." (Philip K. Dick).[1]

Conservators, and conservation, appear in numerous fictional books, films, and TV shows [2], I'd like to suggest that studying fiction is a fascinating, albeit underutilized, approach to a range of conservation studies, not least because our portrayal within the fictional realm feeds directly into the public consciousness, and perception, of our profession. I recently read the Philip K. Dick (PKD) novel "Galactic Pot Healer" (GPH) [3], and was struck by how it can be read in contrast with contemporary museum based futurism, and as a work of conservation (pot-healing) theory. Museum futurists predict that a continuing desire for 'the real' will maintain a central significance in the museum project for conservation [4]. PKD, however, offers a different prediction. In GPH our protagonist, a healer of pots named Joe Fernwright, inhabits a world in which ceramics have been replaced by plastic, and where all the ceramics in museums have been healed. PKD reveals the utopic vision of classical conservation theory to be a dystopia in which conservators are all but obsolete, and Joe passes his time playing "the game" and craving illegal cigarettes.

Book cover. Photo by Chris Drumm, Some rights reserved.

In what's called 'soft' science fiction it is the story that holds more value than scientific gizmo's. However, as scientists, it can be fun to consider what improvements to our field the writers of our fictional selves have dreamt up; and consider whether they could, as with the needle-less injection from Star Trek, become reality. GPH features several intriguing challenges for conservation scientists, including; self focusing magnie-conser vation


fying glasses, heat needles that bond the ceramic on the molecular level (I'm pretty sure that's non-reversible!), and replacing the ceramic conservators sand-box with an anti-gravity machine and storage boxes that if dropped gently slow their rate of descent before landing safely on the ground. Notwithstanding such leaps in technology, I suspect conservators can take more from the story than these tools. Back in the Communal North American Citizen's Republic, Joe's routine existence is interrupted when he receives a message: "Pot healer, I need you. And I will pay" [3, p.12]. As his curiosity is awakened he discovers that on another planet the Glimmung "intended to raise the ancient cathedral Heldscalla, and to do so [...] needed a wide span of skills" [3, p. 25]; amongst them a pot-healer. As the plot develops Joe undergoes a variety of adventures and struggles, he gives all his savings away, has a run in with the Quietude Authority Police, travels to a different planet, falls in love, challenges the apparent precognition of the 'Book of the Kalends', and undergoes an epic struggle to raise the cathedral, before finally coming to a decision regarding his future as a pot-healer. As a conservator it is possible to read Joe's personal and spiritually gnostic journey through the prism of investigative cleaning, the methodical uncovering of layers to reveal new realities below. As our reality becomes increasingly fluid and fleeting the book provides an intriguing metaphor for contemporary readings of authenticity. The final section of the novel offers an interesting challenge to museum futurists, and conservation theorists. PKD posits a post-enlightenment, experiential, reading of material culture, which contrasts with how the conservation object has traditionally been seen as "an object of the Enlightenment, an object that can be known through scientific analysis" [5]. In our world such distinctions are already becoming blurred with the ade-conser vation

vent of replicas, copies, fakes, forgeries, virtual collections, and simulations. Moreover, developments in ethnographic and contemporary art conservation have led the conservation process to increasingly be concerned with meanings, and authenticity, and not solely the materiality of objects. It has been suggested we "confront the thingness of objects when they stop working for us [...] when their flow within the circuits of production and distribution, consumption and exhibition, has been arrested, however momentarily" [6]. This being the case the focus of conservation cannot solely be the object, but, also must be the mechanism of its flow. By making his first pot Joe seeks to (re)create his traditional material culture, and satisfy his desire for cultural meaning. Perhaps too this illustrates the authors own approach to personal and cultural authenticity, creating worlds in which things do fall apart; worlds in which maybe conservation does, after all, have a role to play: He appraised what he had done, and, within it, what he would do, what later pots would be like, the future of them lying before him. And his justification, in a sense, for leaving Glimmung and all the others. Mali, the most of all. Mali whom he loved. The pot was awful. [3, p. 144] Notes: 1. Quoted in: Vincent Bzdek. Philip K. Dick's Future is Now. The Washington Post, Sunday July 28, 2002, URL. 2. Rebecca A. Rushfield. Conservation Fiction (or Fiction that Acknowledges the Existence of Conservation and Conservators), URL, and Canadian Association for Conservation. Conservation in Film and Fiction, URL.


3. Philip K. Dick, Galactic Pot-healer, Berkley, 1969. 4. Center for the Future of Museums, Museums and Society 2034: Trends and Potential Futures. Version 1.0. Center for the Future of Museums/American Association of Museums. December 2008, URL [pdf]. 5. Pip Laurenson. Authenticity, Change and Loss in the Conservation of Time-Based Media Installations. Tate Papers. Autumn 2006, URL. 6. Bill Brown. Thing Theory. Critical Inquiry, Vol. 28, No. 1. Things (Autumn, 2001). pp. 4.

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

Conservator The Musical Instrument Museum Daniel Cull is from the West Country of the British Isles. He trained at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, where he received a BSc in Archaeology, MA in Principles of conservation, and an MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums. He was later awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the National Museum of the American Indian/Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. He currently works as a conservator at the Musical Instrument Museum and as a collaborator with e-conservation magazine. Website: Contact:

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Review by Ana Bidarra

September 9-10, 2010 London, UK Organisers: The British Museum and Hitachi High Technologies Europe

On 9th and 10th September 2010, the Department of Conservation and Scientific Research at the British Museum, in association with Hitachi High Technologies Europe, hosted a conference on the application of scanning electron microscopy and microanalysis (SEM-EDX) to the study of materials, manufacturing methods and deterioration processes of objects from ancient to contemporary cultures. The conference was attended by over 150 delegates representing 22 countries (including North, Central and South America, China, Japan, Iran and most European countries). There were 28 oral presentations and 45 posters divided in 2 sessions over the 2-days conference. The presentations focused on several areas of study, from broader applications of SEM and microanalysis techniques, to specific case studies, technological advances and limitations. The conference started with a presentation from Alexander Ball entitled How non-destructive is variable pressure SEM?, introducing some basic concepts of variable pressure SEM focusing on the alterations caused by the technique due to the effects of rapid decompression, beam interactions between the samples and imaging gas and the contamination
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from the vacuum system. These effects can cause cracking, contaminations, dehydration, radiation damages, etc. It was an alert call, particularly directed to the recent possibilities of analysing entire objects, since modern equipments have bigger vacuum chambers. The first session ended with two presentations on the study of parchment biodegradation and on the study of glass beads from urns found in 1970 in an excavation in Carthage, followed by the first poster session. The second session began with a practical approach on the use of SEM in the study of surface materials at high magnification. Ineke Joosten focused on the parameters that could influence the image such as scan rotation, magnification, beam voltage, type of detector and pressure in the vacuum chamber. In the second presentation, Caroline Cartwright introduced a very interesting application of SEM to the study of the organic cores from the Iron Age Snettisham (Norfolk) torc hoard, from around 70 BC. The study added important new information regarding the manufacture of these objects. The last session was on the study of the Bedford Lemere Collection, particularly the deterioration of glass plate negatives from mid to late 19th century.


The afternoon session focused on four different themes: smalt pigment quantitative EDX analysis; medieval window flashed glass composition, structure and manufacturing processes; organic remains preserved by metal corrosion products; and a multi-analytical study of the pigments in 17th century Portuguese tiles (azulejos). The first presentation, by Marika Spring, introduced several examples of SEM-EDX analysis on smalt samples from a number of paintings in the National Gallery ranging in date and geographical origin. The variations in arsenic content as well as possible effects of arsenic on the properties of the glass were discussed. The effect of various factors such as pressure, beam gas and working distance on the degree of beam skirting and on quantitative analysis were also focused. The poster session continued during the tea break. In the last session of the day the speakers brought into discussion very distinct topics, such as the investigation of medieval opaque glasses and enamels, analyses of chrome-yellow and chromeorange dyestuffs used for domestic and imported cotton fabrics Touzan (a vertically stripped Japanese fabric) in the 19th century, and the study of inscriptions, filing and polishing marks on the bronze weapons from the Qin Terracotta Army in China. The first day ended with a reception at the Addis Gallery, in the British Museum. The second day started with a presentation by Shirley Northover, focused on the application of electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) in archaeology. EBSD patterns are characteristic of the structure and local crystallography orientation of the material under the beam. By systematically collecting and analysing these patterns, maps can be built up revealing the distribution of present phases, showing grain sizes and shapes, and giving

Quantitative EDX analysis of smalt pigment in the variable pressure SEM, by Marika Spring.

information on the deformation levels of the surface. Hector Lozano spoke on the re-discovery of Mexican feathered textile, a very peculiar technique, of which only six known textiles still exist, all of them from the 17th and 18th centuries. In this case SEM was used to identify the materials present in the feathered yarns particularly the identification of the birds from which the feathers were obtained. The next communication was on the study of raw materials used in the production of Chinese porcelain and stoneware bodies, and the last one of the session was on the role of SEM-based charcoal identification on reconstructing vegetation changes in the last 40,000 years in Western Cape (South Africa). The afternoon presentations were followed by the second poster session. The sixth session began with a presentation from Diane Johnson on the subsurface analysis by application of a focused ion beam scanning electron microscope (FIBSEM) to samples of geological (fossils and meteorites) and historical importance. Next, Alicia Perea talked on gold usage and the analysis of wear marks and/or deterioration in site condition of gold artefacts and how difficult it could be to differentiate one from the other. Carol Pottasch presented a study on a rediscovered Dutch painter, Adriaen Coorte (works dating from
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1683-1705) and the use of arsenic pigments in his still lifes. The last presentation by Eddy Faber focused on the study of Middle Minoan polychrome ware production and the relations between pottery production and the palaces, and how the polychrome ware played an important role in the (re)affirmation of both the potters and those who consume the craft goods as well as the different strategies for teaching and learning craft skills in middle Minoan society. After lunch the afternoon began with a communication on non-invasive sample preparation with cross-section polishing, followed by a presentation on the Viking filigree, granulation and tool mark analysis. Next was a presentation by Martina Raedel on the application of environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) equipped with EDX to the study of different types of materials such as gold mosaics and medieval church windows, but also to study the effectiveness of corrosion protection systems for historical iron and cast iron monuments and the microbial infestation of historical marble sculptures. The last communication focused on the study of pre-Columbian gold beads from Panama and was presented by Ainslie Harrison. Over 2000 beads were examined, including 223 beads from recent excavations in El Cao, from 2008 and 2009 field seasons. All
Current examination of organic remains preserved by metal corrosion products, by Andrea Fischer.

of the beads were examined for type, evidence of manufacture, alloy composition, fabrications technique and shape. Specific features of interest, such as flanges, circumferential grooves, chisel marks and visible joins, were also noted for each bead. By correlating the analytical data and external features of these beads, a larger picture of the bead manufacturing processes in pre-Columbian Panama was revealed. The conference ended with three presentations. Aviva Burnstock spoke about The use of SEM imaging techniques for examination of paintings, showing examples of the application of SEM for questions related to the surface and underlying material structure of paintings dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries. The examples focused in features such as surface whitening, efflorescence and changes in the surface that resulted from selected treatments. The second communication entitled Metallurgy through the eyes of the SEM, by Nigel Meeks, illustrated how SEM-EDX has been essential in revealing the materials, metallurgy, construction and finishing of antiquities, from the earliest refining of gold in Lydia, to the production of complex multi-component jewellery in Europe and to the gold metallurgy of Central and South America. The last presentation was a review of the conference and on the future of SEM:

A view during the poster session.

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Inscriptions, filing and polishing marks on the bronze weapons from the Qin Terracotta Army in China, by Xiuzhen Janice Li.


SEM 2010, a synopsis and a look to future directions, by Chris Jones from Hitachi. During the two days conference the high standard on the selection of communications and posters was clear and it was possible to understand how broad the application of SEM and microanalysis techniques can be. The limitations of these techniques were addressed as well as the progresses and the more recent applications and innovations in analysis and equipments. Archetype Publications, in association with the British Museum, will be publishing the conference proceedings.

Art Conservation Research

Conservator-restorer Contact: Ana Bidarra has a Degree in Conservation-Restoration and a Master Degree in GeoSciences on white structured pigments for restoration. Currently she is a PhD candidate researching the compositional and technological aspects of gold leaf from Portuguese baroque altarpieces. She works as conservator-restorer in private practice since 1999.
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Review by Daniel Cull September 15 - 18, 2010 Portland, Oregon The Western Association for Art Conservation (WAAC) recently held our annual meeting in the city of Portland, Oregon. The meeting was sponsored by the University of Oregon (UO), and hosted by the UO White Stag Block, and the AIA/Center for Architecture. The conference was jam packed with events including: three days of lectures, an angels project with the Oregon Nikkei legacy Center, a workshop on Digital Imaging Techniques for Conservation and Education, presented by Cultural Heritage Imaging, a silent auction to benefit the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, a tour of the Gamblin paint factory, and several receptions. There was barely time to see the sights of the city, or the Portland Art Museum which had graciously extended free entry to participants, and of course Powell's - possibly the worlds largest bookshop. I came away from Portland with a couple of new books, an awesome notebook from the silent auction, and a few new ideas and techniques to apply professionally. After opening addresses and announcements, Dr. Tami Lasseter-Clare gave the first lecture entitled 'Uncovering Mysteries of a Chinese Burial Relic', demonstrating the use of a variety of analytical techniques (X-radiography, XRF, FTIR) to investigate the originality, and potential dates, of various parts of a presumed Han dynasty bronze Money Tree, from the collections of the Portland Art Museum. Marie Svoboda gave the second lecture
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entitled 'Exploring 19th Century Restorations: the study of Four Apulian Vases from Berlin', this was one of my favourite lectures, covering an important topic in the conservation field; our own history. The lecture described a collaborative project between Berlin's Antikensammlung and LA's J. Paul Getty Museum to study and treat a group of ceramic artefacts. Part of this study shed light on the original conservator, and it was fun to see the research and experiments that went into discovering the methods and extent of his work; most intriguing was the use of fired clay blanks as a filling method. The presentation finished with the dilemma now faced by the conservators; to reveal the historical artefact or to retain the conservation work. I would argue that the conservation evidence should be retained in at least some cases. After the break, Chris White gave an excellent talk on 'Brass and Wood Screws in American Furniture'. It was interesting to learn about the chronology of screw production as they changed from all handmade screws prior to 1780 to modern style screws post 1845, into the standardization of screw in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chris also announced that Arlen Heginbotham at the Getty is developing an online database of screws and is looking for beta testers. In the next lecture William Hoffman presented 'Silver Tarnishing Properties of Gloves Used in Conservation',


using Oddy testing, Beilstein tests, Azide tests, as well as FTIR and ATR the potential to tarnish or transfer residue onto silver objects was measured. The results did not end up with a clear cut "best choice" glove, but demonstrated instead that in different ways each of the gloves had a negative effect. The WAAC business meeting was the final point of business prior to lunch. After lunch Kyle Jansson reviewed the current state of the cultural heritage field in a lecture entitled 'Finding Cures for the Common Heritage Flu'. He presented the findings of recent consultations, unfortunately I think he identified more illnesses than he did cures! Up next Jan Cavanaugh discussed 'Art Conservation at the Jordon Schnitzer Mueum of Art', describing how addressing environmental concerns during an expansion of the museum was required for grants funding to address the long term conservation efforts. After the break the final round of lectures for the day began, with Anya McDavis-Conway talking about 'The New Mexico History Museum: Before and After Opening'. I could totally relate to this, currently being involved in opening a museum myself. It was interesting to see the storage solutions that had been chosen, including aluminium pallets to keep objects off of the floor, and purpose built custom saddle mounts. Yosi Pozeilovs 'iPad, a New Tool for Condition Reporting at LACMA', was a fun final lecture for the day that outlined how the iPad could be utilized as a tool for conservation. Its major bonus is that it is truly handheld and simulates the methods that we use already. Yoonjo Lee opened the second day with 'Parafilm M Fills for a Mexican Lacquered Gourd vessel', this introduced me to an approach that I'd never even considered - although it was first published by Marianne Webb in 1998, brilliantly innovative and strikingly simple, just the sort of treatments I most admire. This was followed by another fantastic
The popular 'Crow with LED Eyes' from the silent auction looks out across the conference hall. Photo by Daniel Cull, Some rights reserved.

paper from LACMA, this one entitled 'Nip, Tuck, and Fill: Producing Digitally Printed Textile Infills for a Group of Pre-Coumbian Textiles at LACMA', presented by Lynn Bathke, with a section by Yosi Pozeilov. During the break, examples of the printed fabric and photographs were available, I was totally excited by this application of photoshop to conservation. The printed fabrics were produced in collaboration with CadFabulous, an LA based company using a Mimaki TX4 dye-sublimation printer, and I can honestly say they looked excellent. After the break, we were treated to two lectures concerning salt desalination; the first, 'Desalination of Archaeological Ceramics: Measuring Progress and Success' was presented by Chris White, in which he presented his work around a normalized rate equation for calculating the relative saltiness of objects and the progress of desalination. He outlined how current experimental results are used to define an end point of the treatment, at which an object is declared stable, but that we still don't have enough results to know what stable means. In the second paper, 'Detecting and Identifying Testing Salts in Desalination', Nancy Odegaard discussed the use of EM Quant test strips as a method for semi-quantitative determination of chlorides, nitrates, and sulfate
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ions in the bath solutions. This appears to be a cheap and useful analytical method. The last paper in this session was by Linda Lin who discussed a 'Technical study and conservation of two Japanese masks: Investigating their attributes as a pair and stabilizing fragile matte paint', which treated us to several examples of these fascinating masks. After lunch there was one lecture, given by Chris Stavroudis on 'The Modular Cleaning Program in Practice Application to Acrylic Paintings', this is a computer program that assists (but does not lead) the conservator in formulating cleaning systems. The system was developed as an off shoot of Richard Wolbers gels cleaning project. I'm led to believe that these systems are very effective, but, I have never had cause to use either. The early finish was to allow a brilliant tour, and reception, at the Gamblin paint factory, led by Robert Gamblin who runs the 'conservation colors'

section of the company. It's always fascinating to see where the products we have on the shelves in our labs come from! The last day of lectures saw a change of venue, and focus. Art DeMuro began the day with 'White Stag Building Project' a discussion of the restoration of the building in which we had spent the last two days. It was fascinating to see how the beautiful building we had been meeting in had previously been a burnt out shell, the previous owner having attempted to burn it down to claim the insurance money. This project included clever reuses of unusable parts of the building as artwork, or unique furniture. The second paper of the day 'Developing Art and Object Conservation Recommendations Compatible with Historic Interiors: A Case Study' was presented by Jil Johnson, and asked important questions about how we define

Robert Gamblin giving a tour of the Gamblin Paint Factory. Photo by Daniel Cull, Some rights reserved.

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the words we use, such as conservation and restoration, and how the different fields may use the same words, but with different emphasis and meaning. Next up was Tom Fuller who discussed the 'Conservation of Chinese Alters at Kam Wah Chung & Co.' .This lecture ran over, at the request of the audience, and then a discussion ensued. This site seemed to be a favourite for many attendees, and the presentation was certainly a favourite of mine, and was probably most in-tune with the ethnographic approaches I most enjoy. After the break Brooke Masek gave a fascinating lecture entitled 'In Pursuit of the Ideal: The Restoration of the Sante-Chapelle', demonstrating how the restoration approach was both led, and influenced, the formation of French national identity. Exploring the 19th Century ideals of restoration, and how they were realized, or ignored, in reality by their practitioners. This was followed by Jonathan Fisher's discussion of 'The Putti Project: Conservation of Two Zinc Fountain Sculptures', which discussed the challenges faced in the conservation of two sculptures that formed part of a water feature. After lunch, Dr. Tami Lasseter-Clare gave another lecture, this time on 'Understanding Performance Properties and Limitations of Coatings for Metals'. This was an interesting lecture and raised the concern of how conservators might continue should products we use be banned, an issue we as a profession should really be considering more widely. The next paper was one of the most significant, in my opinion, of the whole conference. 'Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling: Exhibiting Art Under Natural Light at LACMA' was presented by Mark Gilberg, and co-authored with Charlotte Eng and Frank Preusser. The lecture presented a case study of the successes and failures of a diffused natural lighting system, in a building designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano. The authors suggested,

and I agree, that natural lighting is becoming more common in the museum environment, and it is imperative that conservators begin to share their experiences with such lighting systems, and mitigating the worst effects of light damage under such circumstances. After the final break of the conference Mary Slater presented 'Building as Art: Preserving the National Maritime Museum' which was co-authored by Paul Nachsheim, Jason Wright, Mark McMillan, Katharine Untch, and David Wessel, the Museum building was originally designed to look like an Ocean Liner and was a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, and a team of artists decorated it throughout. The restoration project included both in-situ restoration, replacement of materials with non-corrosive but visually similar alternatives, and removal of parts of the building for lab based conservation: a wonderful project, for a wonderful building. The final paper of the conference was 'Conservation and Beyond: The Fire Restoration of the Governor's Ceremonial Suite in the Oregon State Capitol' by Peter Miejer, this paper discussed the collaborative efforts to conserve this building, working with conservators, preservation architects, design architects, owners, insurance representatives, and not least the politicians who would use the building. This paper really highlighted the challenges and achievements of working in a cross-disciplinary manner that was the focus of this final day. After three days of papers, and other activities, the conference closed by thanking all the presenters, attendees, and the outgoing WAAC President Marie Laibinis Craft for organizing the conference. This brief review can barely shed light on the high standard of the papers, and the discussions that took place. I certainly took some new ideas away from the conference, and that, I think, is the litmus test of a quality conference.
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DEVASTATING FLOOD IN LADAKH, INDIA A Support Program by Tibet Heritage Fund

By Andre Alexander Photos by friends of Leh, August 5-7, 2010 On August 5, Ladakh experienced exceptionally heavy rain, referred to as cloudburst. This triggered flashfloods and mud slides, hitting lower Leh, Choklamsar, Sabu, Shey, Basgo, Nyemo, Skorbuchen, Dhar Hanu and other villages, causing untold destruction and so far about 200 confirmed deaths. More than 200 buildings were completely destroyed, and further 800 were damaged buildings. According to official count, 1188 households have been affected across Ladakh. No one can recall similar heavy rain or a similar catastrophe in living memory. Leh's historic old town has not been affected, and neither have most temples and monasteries. Indeed, everywhere it was more recent buildings and settlements that have been affected, suggesting that in the ancient past, people have been more careful about where to build. Especially hard hit was the Tibetan refugee settlement at Choglamsar, established in the 1960s. For over a week, Leh was cut of from the rest of Ladakh, as roads and bridges were also washed away. There was no electricity and telephony, and even the airport was damaged and closed for one day. The Indian army quickly rebuilt bridges, cleared the airport runway and the major roads. Eventually, electricity supply and the telephone systems were restored. Many houses were filled to the brink with hardening mud. Volunteers from all sectors of Ladakhi life, Buddhist, Muslims, soldiers, monks and tourist helped to dig out these houses, sometimes making terrible discoveries inside.
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Chumikchan Cowshed damage.

Help is coming from abroad and from other parts of India, but in an uncoordinated fashion. The government and Indian donors are building oneor two-room shelters, from pre-cast concrete slabs that are brought up. These are not at all suitable to the climate of Ladakh and the life-style of its people, the coming winter will be very grim in a concrete box. Some local Ladakhi NGOs advocate to build such shelters from concrete-enforced compressed bricks, but manufacture of such specialized materials is slow, and winter is approaching.
Detail of damaged modern concrete-frame building at new bus-stand, Leh.



THF is helping to prevent collapse of damaged historic buildings in Leh, mainly on the edge of the historic old town, and has assessed buildings for their safety, advising whether families can return to their houses or not. Certainly, next spring the government and all concerned bodies will have to take a lot of precautions to prevent the catastrophe from recurring. Most Ladakhis blame the climate change, saying historically it has never rained much in Ladakh (12th century wall-paintings in simple buildings with flat mud roofs seem to bear witness to this). Flood diversion channels can be built, drainage improved, and protective walls raised above settlements. Some building locations may have to be abandoned. But to bring everyone over the winter, THF is proposing an alternative to building comparatively expensive shelters (between 2000-4000 Euro) that may not be suited to the local climate, and that may only be needed for six months. We found that it only takes two skilled masons and some helpers to make at least one room in each of the damaged buildings safe for the family to

stay over winter. No expenses for new building materials are necessary, as everything from a traditional Ladakhi building can be recycled - including the mud bricks for the walls. Donations to support this program can be sent to: THF non-profit account in Germany Account holder: Tibet Heritage Fund Bank name: Berliner Volksbank Account Nr. 7104 19 2003 BLZ 100 900 00 SWIFT/BIC BEVODEBB IBAN: DE03 1009 0000 7104 1920 03

Volunteers at work cleaning the debris from the new bus-stand area.

Panoramic view of the damage suffered at lower Leh from the mudslide.


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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 Click on "Read more..." to find out more details about each event.

In/Visible Towns
Archaeology and Cultural Heritage in Urban Areas 15th Workshop - International Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies Date: 15-17 November Read more...

Digital Cultural Heritage and Digital Libraries

Place: Vienna, Austria The conference will focus on the special challenge presented by archaeology in an urban environment that has become a motor, an impulse-giver, for development and innovation in project design, excavation philosophy and technology.

November 2010

Date: 8-13 November Place: Limassol, Cyprus


The EuroMed2010 joint event will focus on interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research concerning both cutting edge Cultural Heritage Informatics and use of technology for the representation, documentation, preservation, archiving and communication of CH knowledge. The main goal is to illustrate the programs underway, whether organised by public bodies or by private foundations in order to promote a common approach to the tasks of recording, documenting, protecting and managing World Cultural Heritage.

SMARTDoc Heritage
Heritage Recording & Information Management in the Digital Age Date: 19-20 November Place: Philadelphia, USA Digital tools and media offer a myriad of new opportunities for collecting, analyzing and disseminating information about heritage sites. Issues regarding the proper, innovative and research-focused uses of digital media in heritage conservation are an urgent topic in the global heritage conservation field. Read more...

29th Dyes in History and Archaeology Meeting

Date: 11-12 November Place: Lisbon, Portugal Dyes in History and Archaeology (DHA), an international group of experts with multidisciplinary backgrounds, has met every year since 1982 to discuss chemical, analytical, biological, historical, and technological aspects of natural and synthetic dyestuffs. The conference will focus on all issues concerning dyes, namely their production, diverse properties, and historical implications. The topics presented will be of interest to conservators, curators, art historians, craftsmen, artists and scientists. Read more...

Colours, Early Textiles Study Group (ETSG) Meeting

Date: 19-20 November Place: Euston, London From status statements to mourning dress, colours have played a crucial part in textiles through time and across cultures. Colours can be dramatically combined or worn separately. Specific colours can identify the owner, his or her allegiances, state of mind and state of purse. Conference papers will examine textiles from various areas, dating up to 1600. Read more...

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November 2010


NODEM10 Nordic Digital Excellence in Museums November 2010

From Place to Presence. Digital media breaking boundaries between inside, outside and virtual spaces, in heritage institutions Date: 24-26 November Place: Copenhagen, Denmark NODEM is a bi-annual conference that explores the role of digital media in museums. One of the most striking features of digital media in museums today is their potential for linking and integrating resources, spaces and users in an abundance of ways. Museums can share content and gain exposure as well as work across online and onsite, users can contribute to knowledge production and choose between different exhibition platforms, and experiences and knowledge can be mediated through a variety of channels. Read more...

And the Workshop on Documentation and Conservation of Stone Deterioration in Heritage Places Date: 7-12 December Place: Petra, Jordan The Workshop will focus on documentation and conservation of stone. Organized jointly with by the ICOMOS Scientific Committees of Heritage Documentation (CIPA, Stone Committee (ISCS), and ICAHM) the workshop is aimed at gathering a multidisciplinary group of heritage documentation and conservation specialists around the issue of the use of advanced recording techniques for identifying, maping, and understanding weathering forms and processes affecting the significance and integrity of cultural heritage surfaces. Read more...

Works of Art and Conservation Science Today

Date: 26-28 November Place: Thessaloniki, Greece The central aim of the Symposium is to bring together renowned scientists and experts from all over the world, who will present the state-of-the-art in conservation science and practice, and exchange views on key issues related to the preservation of our cultural heritage. The Symposium will address major fields of conservation science including modern diagnostic techniques, materials for conservation, paintings, metals and ceramics, pigments and dyes, textiles, wood, paper and manuscripts. Basic theme in one of the main panels will be the Education/Curriculum of Conservation Science today. The symposium will be held in the facilities of Byzantine Culture and Archaeological museums and the University Ecclesiastical Academy, according to the program. Read more...

CALL FOR PAPERS: 2nd International Conference on Salt Weathering of Buildings and Stone Sculptures
Date: 24-25 Septembe Place: Austin, Texas, USA The conference organised by the Building Materials Laboratory of the University of Cyprus follows a very successful first meeting that was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in October 2008. It will take place in Limassol, at the newly renovated 5-star Grand Resort, between 19-22 October 2011. The meeting is open to both practitioners and researchers and it is anticipated to address general salt-related problems and decay mechanisms, the key parameters controlling salt crystallisation and new conservation approaches and materials. The deadline for abstract submission is 17 December 2010. For more information, please visit the conference website or send an email to Read more...

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December 2010

7th International Conference on Science and Technology in Archaeology and Conservation

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by Josie Wornoff

Ivory has been used in the creation of objects since the beginning of civilization, due to its prized durability and appearance. Early uses included weaponry, musical instruments, religious pieces, personal artifacts, decorative items, artistic pieces, and occasionally, book covers. Three small books from the Library and Archives Canada study collection were suspected to have ivory covers. Various identification tests were administered on the book covers, and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy analysis confirmed their elephant ivory composition. However, related literature and other existing examples of ivory covered books are rare. In contrast, the use of ivory in portrait miniatures is extensively researched. Library and Archives Canada has over 130 portrait miniatures, and has successfully treated many of these. Comparison between the history, processing, and risks of deterioration of these two applications of ivory revealed many similarities. From this, similar conservation techniques of portrait miniatures are proposed for use on ivory book covers.


Introduction The cover material of four small books (Figure 1) was the subject of a research project at Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Three of the books appeared to be produced of ivory or an ivory substitute, and the fourth resembled tortoiseshell or horn. Information was gathered on the history and characteristics of ivory and ivory substitutes, while identification tests were administered to determine the exact compositions of the book covers. Extensive research revealed that there is very little mention of ivory book covers in literature. Though these ivory book covers are quite rare, there are currently over 130 portrait miniatures in the LAC collection. Since the history of ivory use, ivory processing, and risks of deterioration are very similar between ivory book covers and ivory portrait miniatures, similar conservation recommendations are proposed for use on ivory book covers.

Identification of Ivory There are many methods of testing for ivory, yet there is no test that is reliable, simple, and inexpensive [1]. In fact, reliability is limited because most tests can only prove that a substance is not ivory, and cannot avoid a destructive aspect in order to provide this diagnosis [1]. Testing methods Preliminary examination revealed certain morphological characteristics that aided in material identification. For example, the size of the covers indicated that they could not be composed of smaller proteinaceous materials such as antler or horn [2]. Photography under various lighting conditions also revealed important details, such as ivory grain patterns under transmitted light. Lamellae grain patterns are present in longitudinal cuts in ivory tusks, whereas Lines of Shreger are present in cross-sections which provide distinction from mammoth ivory [1].

Figure 1. For referral purposes, from left to right: Book 3, Book 1, Book 2, and Book 4.

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Figure 2. Ivory fluorescence during ultraviolet light testing. Figure 3. Hot needle test on Book 4.

Ultraviolet light was also used to distinguish bluepurple fluorescing ivory [3], from darker and dull synthetic materials [4]. The three small ivory books each fluoresced a bright colour, while the added resins revealed a green colour. Book 4 fluoresced a dull, mottled colour, but identification guidelines for tortoiseshell or horn were inconclusive (Figure 2). Many polymer imitations of ivory will melt or burn under heated conditions [3]. A hot needle was applied to the surface of each cover, leaving only a small black dot on the first three books, indicating true ivory [4]. However, Book 4 became very soft with heat, and the needle entered readily, disfiguring the surface (Figure 3). Similarly, a small shaving of each book cover was held in a flame to perform a burn test. A shaving of celluloid or other substitute will burn rapidly and completely, often releasing the odor of camphor which was used to increase strength and decrease flammability of cellulose nitrate [5]. The shaving of the ivory substances smelled vaguely of bone, but the odour of the brown book was distinctively burning plastic. A chemical test that would have been more conclusive is the diphenylamine spot test. A blue-violet stain will appear within seconds if cellulose nitrate

Figure 4. FT-IR spectroscopy testing at CCI on Book 1.

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is present, and any other colour or no colour change indicates cellulose nitrate is not present [6]. This test would have been successful in determining that the brown book was in fact cellulose nitrate, but not aid in identifying the other books. Scientific Analysis Finally, a conclusive test was administered. Scott Williams, Senior Conservation Scientist at the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), performed Fourier Transform Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy testing on the four books as well as an elephant ivory sample [7] (Figure 4). A LabSpec Pro NIR spectrometer (Analytical Spectral Devices) with a bifurcated fibre optic reflection probe was used to gather spectra from each material [7]. The characterization of the material is determined by its molecular interaction with the infrared radiation which originates a characteristic spectrum [8].The spectra were then arranged on graphs in comparison with the spectra of reference materials of known compositions [7].

From the gathered spectra, it is evident that Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3 are each pure elephant ivory (Figure 5). Every spectrum of each book (except Book 4) is very closely related to the sample spectra of a known elephant tusk. However, Book 4 did not closely compare to the elephant tusk sample at all. However, it did relate closely to sample spectra from cellulose nitrate (Figure 6) Therefore, it was concluded with certainty that Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3 are made of true elephant ivory, and Book 4 is made of cellulose nitrate. History of Ivory Use Early man utilized as much of mammoths as possible, beginning the tradition of ivory use in both utilitarian and decorative objects [3]. Early uses included weaponry, musical instruments, religious pieces, personal artifacts, decorative items, artistic pieces, and parts for games [3]. Ivory became associated with gold and silver as a luxurious commodity, used especially for decorating objects of value [1].

Figure 5. Spectra of Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3 compared to sample ivory (red) (Graph: Scott Williams). Covers and embellishments for all books have spectra similar to elephant ivory (red trace).

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The spectra of the cover and cross are nearly identical to each other and to that of a reference sample of cellulose nitrate (red trace), but differ from ivory (grey trace) and tortoiseshell (pink trace). Cellulose nitrate was commonly used to simulate tortoiseshell.

Figure 6. Spectra of Book 4 compared to cellulose nitrate (red) and ivory (grey) (Graph: Scott Williams).

Along with its ability to outlast other common materials such as paper, cloth, and wood, ivory is also prized for its clean beauty, smoothness, and ability to show a bright gloss [1]. The ivory book covers feature these aesthetic qualities, but the relatively good condition indicates that they were likely on display as revered religious objects in accordance with historical fashionable use. Ivory Use in Book Covers The use of ivory in book covers has rarely been focused on in the past; however, it is occasionally mentioned in literature regarding general ivory use. The three books are each comprised of two pieces of thin ivory to serve as book covers, and on Book 2, a third piece for a spine. However, a more common practice throughout history was to repurpose two plaques or the two pieces of a diptych to enclose written material. An early use of ivory books is mentioned in the 275 C.E. Roman history Scriptores Historiae Augustae

[9]. Ivory panels were used to record names and deeds of emperors, which was a tradition that extended to the later Roman and Byzantine courts. This confirms the continued early use of ivory books on ceremonial occasions, and indicates that the book format was likely two tablets hinged together. In the Early Middle Ages, ivory continued to be highly revered and was used sparingly for important commissions, which included the covers of imperial manuscripts [10]. Many of the ivory objects made in the Late Roman and Early Medieval periods, including consular diptychs and ivory book covers, have survived above ground to the present day. This unique preservation is due to a combination of the materials durability and the traditions sanctioned by church and state throughout history [10]. In addition to ceremonial recognition and imperial documentation, ivory was very commonly used to emphasize the importance of religious imagery
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and texts. The Carolingian period marked a revival of ivory carving [10], particularly in ecclesiastical furniture, reliquaries, and book covers [1]. Charlemagne sought to recreate the glory and culture of ancient civilizations by having scribes and artists copy classical texts and illustrations, including many books of lavish miniatures and gold and/or ivory covers [10]. After the Carolingian revival, ivory continued to be used for making fine book covers for treatises of special merit or religious manuscripts [1]. A less figurative and more decorative design became more common in the later years. This is more representative of the simple, elegant designs of the three deaccessioned books, as they are from the late 19th century. Book 1 has four fleur-de-lis additions on the front and back, and an ink emblem on the center medallion. Book 2 has a simple yet beautiful oval medallion and surrounding engraving, while Book 3 includes an asymmetrical center addition. Ivory Use in Portrait Miniatures The use of ivory in books seems to have not experienced a specific period of use, but rather was in use periodically throughout history. In contrast, portrait miniatures were very popular during a 400 year time period. Both ivory objects are intended to show a kind of devotion; these particular books to display religious beliefs, and the portrait miniatures to commemorate a loved one or important figure. The books were likely on display in a home when they were not in use as a Catholic missal to celebrate Mass throughout the year, however, the miniatures were often more personal than for display. Notably, early portrait miniatures were derived from illuminated manuscripts. From the 1460s, handwritten books had to compete with printed
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books, so miniaturists continued to illustrate books but also offered patrons independent miniatures [11]. In the 1520s, individual portraits in miniature size were first produced at French and English courts on a portable piece of parchment or vellum [11]. This transfer of art technique relied on an understanding of the close association between the materials and techniques of the illuminated book and the early miniature on parchment [12]. It is interesting to consider the implication on portrait miniatures had an early ivory book been present and considered for the same transfer of application. Instead, small scale portrait images were painted in a range of materials, styles, and techniques, from water-based paints on paper or card supports, to fired enamels on gold or copper supports, and oil paints on metal, stone, glass and tortoiseshell [12]. However, the most significant early methods of painting portraits were on parchment or vellum, called limnings, becoming known as portrait miniatures in the 18th century when they began to be painted on ivory [12]. The first watercolour portraits on ivory tablets were attributed to the Venetian artist Rosalba Carriera [13]. These were initially used as bases or lids for boxes [13], much like the repurposing of diptychs and plaques for early ivory books. Carriera gathered fame throughout Europe for the beauty of the ivory visible through the transparent paint in flesh coloured areas [13]. By 1710, artists internationally faced pressure to conform to this new fashion despite the difficulty of painting watercolour on the unabsorbent ivory [13]. After the introduction of ivory as a support for portrait miniatures, parchment use began to decline until it stopped entirely [12]. The popularity of the portrait miniature was decreasing by 1839 with the introduction of the daguerreotype, a few decades


before these books were produced in Europe. However, it is likely that the materials and techniques from portrait miniatures remained readily available to adapt to the production of these ivory book covers. Ivory Processing Due to the lack of published information on ivory books, it is only possible to infer how the covers were formed. However, there are many resources on the general processing of ivory, as well as techniques used to make ivory leaves for miniatures. First the brownish outer bark-like layer is removed [1], followed by the seasoning, cutting, smoothing, and forming of ivory into a sheet. Ivory is hygroscopic, like wood [14]. Therefore, seasoning is required to allow for natural shrinkage; weight losses of up to 4% have been recorded [1]. Without controlled drying, ivory will likely
Figure 7. Verso of a portrait miniature revealing the longitudinal lamellae of ivory.

crack or warp [15]. However, it is an otherwise ideal material to process due to its dense, virtually grainless and evenly textured nature [10]. Many tools and techniques have been used to cut ivory throughout history. Many cutting and carving tools were employed, including: saws, shears, rasps, files, drills, punches, chisels, picks, scrapers, and a variety of knives and similar cutting instruments. For flat sections, the broad surfaces were cut radially to show the edges of the ivorys lamellae, or tangentially to create a finer looking ivory with less noticeable grain [15]. During the popularity of portrait miniatures, ivory sheets were available for purchase in pre-cut sheets called leaves [16]. These leaves were cut lengthwise from the elephants tusk [16]. The ivory book covers are each around 1 mm thick, slightly thicker than most portrait miniature leaves, yet quite similar (Figures 7 and 8).
Figure 8. Characteristic ivory longitudinal grain patterns in Book 1.

Figures 6-8. Sampling in Coptic fragments codes from the National Archaeological Museum. From up to down: 15064; 15065 and 1976/130/11. Photos by Jos Baztan.


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Ancient carvers managed to hand cut ivory into a thin veneer cylinder, which was cut into pieces and subsequently softened and mounted upon the curved faces and hands of sculptures [1]. Medieval book covers may have been made this way as there are some early surviving ivory book covers as large as 30 cm square [1]. The size of leaves was limited by the diameter of tusks, until technology developed for the production of larger sheets of ivory in the early 19th century [16]. Ivory was spiral cut with a reciprocating saw into a scroll, steamed until soft, then subjected to hydraulic pressure to flatten to a desired size [16]. The resulting ivory had an increased flexibility, a finer polish, and less grain patterns [17], but the surface was often wavy and needed to be laid down on stiff card before painting could begin [16]. Miniaturists were traditionally concerned about the permanence and stability of their ivory leaves [16]. Veneer cut ivory proved undesirable as the ivory was prone to shattering into thin, parallel segments [16]. Therefore, miniaturists continued

to cut leaves in the traditional manner, just as they continued to use the same materials and techniques since the 18th century [16]. Since watercolour paint did not readily adhere to the ivory material, miniature leaves required the extra steps of degreasing, whitening, and scraping [18]. Risks for Deterioration of Ivory The most common instances of ivory deterioration are warping, cracking and complications arising from added materials. Ivory is a relatively stable material, but only in a constant environment [19]. It is an anisotropic material, and is therefore susceptive to warping and cracking on exposure to heat or moisture [3]. Thin artifacts such as miniatures and book covers are especially vulnerable, as even moisture and heat from hands may be damaging [3]. Warping The risk of warping is increased when the ivory is mounted on stiff backing cards, restricting natural

Figure 9. Severe warp of a portrait miniature at LAC.

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movement [12]. Ivory should be allowed to expand or contract with changes in temperature, which will be at a different rate than of the paper [1]. The front of the ivory sheet shrinks laterally, while the back is restrained by the glue and paper [20]. Warping often occurs parallel to the grain [20] in an even, concave curvature [21]. Many miniatures have a slight warp, but it is often considered acceptable if it is not too extreme [21] (Figure 9). The ivory covers on Book 2 are moderately warped, similar to portrait miniatures with restricting backing cards (Figure 10). A sign of unstable warping is irregular buckling caused by stresses between the ivory and an unevenly attaching backing [21]. This will eventually cause cracking and splitting [1]. Cracking Often there is insufficient room within the frame of a miniature to allow the ivory to react to atmospheric conditions, causing the ivory to warp and

crack [22]. This is seen on Book 3, as the metal casing is restricting movement of the ivory book covers, worsening the warp into a more uneven, unstable buckling. The fabrication of these three books is inherently faulty, as the covers cannot stay adhered to the board as well as clasped for a long amount of time. Either the ivory piece lifts from the front cover and stays clasped, or the ivory stays attached but the clasp breaks off. This is evident on Book 1 and Book 2, respectively (Figure 11). Added materials Ivory book covers are essentially a combination of materials, so there are often anticipated problems with added materials. Metals provide a great aesthetic contrast with ivory; however, the materials react differently to environmental conditions. Sudden changes in temperature expand metal more than the brittle ivory, putting an undue mechanical pressure on the area [4]. Galvanic currents are formed between materials with diverse elec-

Figure 10. Moderate warp of Book 2.


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Figure 11. The completely detached ivory cover of Book 1.

trical potential, which weakens the ivory creating cracks [4]. This often occurs at the point of contact between the ivory and the metal, as seen in Book 3 where cracks have occurred and Book 2 has even broken off into pieces at the areas in contact with the metal hinges (Figure 12). Paint films suffer crazing, cracking and peeling due to improper preparation of the paint or the ivory support [12]. Watercolour paint is very susceptible to any moisture, including relative humidity, cleaning solutions, and general water staining [12]. None of the books have painting on them, though Book 1 has an intricate ink design on the center medallion. Conservation The unique problems associated with ivory require specialized conservation. Much of the damage on
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the ivory book covers is similar to that of portrait miniatures and more general ivory objects. Treatments for portrait miniatures may be adapted to ivory book covers, specifically focused on basic cleaning, minimizing warp, and repairing cracks and losses.
Figure 12. The broken edge on Book 2 due to stress of previous clasp.



Cleaning Basic cleaning of portrait miniatures should be done with a soft brush, cloth, or leather [21]. Water and mild soap cannot be applied on thin films of ivory as they are particularly susceptible to water damage [3] and may cause condensation, water damage, or mould [12]. The ivory is quite dirty on all three books, especially in recessed areas. Dry clean methods such as a stiff brush should be used to enter all depressions to remove surface dirt while leaving the natural patina. A dry, soft cloth may also be used to rub the exterior to extract the natural oils of the ivory. The preservation of original frames and cases are an important aspect of the conservation of mini-

ature portraits. If a frame requires cleaning, a damp swab may be applied locally after removal of miniature, or it may be polished with a soft flannel cloth or Hagerty Jewelry Cloth [23]. The metal clasps on Book 1 and Book 3 and the frame on Book 3 may benefit from polishing with these techniques. Aged ivory develops a yellowish patina which is natural to the object and should not be removed [14]. However, removal of water stains and aged varnish may be desired for aesthetic purposes on portrait miniatures. Acetone may be used to dissolve aged adhesive or varnish, and a scalpel to mechanically remove the rest [23]. The appearance of water damage can be minimized by coloured pencils [23]. Book 3 appears to have a discoloured

Figure 13. Adhesive staining overall on Book 3.


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varnish applied over the ivory, distracting from the natural beauty of the underlying ivory. Acetone swab could be used to remove varnish, however it is likely too risky to attempt removal of the varnish as the ivory is inset into the metal frames (Figure 13). Warping The removal of backings from portrait miniatures often reduces the pressure that is causing them to warp [24]. Miniatures are placed face down and a thin scalpel blade is used to peel away the backing, ensuring it is secure on a curved support. Adhesives may require softening with a damp blotter [23], less than 50% ethanol in water [20], or 10% Laponite solution through a tissue [23]. In miniatures, the backing cards are an addition to facilitate painting of the ivory. In books, the backings are the book board, an integral part of the structure and intention of the object. Thus despite warping, it is not advisable to remove the ivory from the card, nor reline the ivory. The warping of ivory is a serious issue for portrait miniatures as it affects the delicate paint layer and may escalate until the ivory exceed the dimensions of its case [22]. Ivory pieces can be placed in a chamber conditioned with silica gel at 65-70% RH for 10 minutes up to 2-5 hours, then clamped between Plexiglas sheets [23]. This successfully relaxes ivory to a more flattened state. In addition, a Gore-Tex humidifying system has been adapted from paper conservation to flatten miniatures on ivory [24]. The miniature is placed concave side down, between layers of Gore-Tex, silicon paper, blotting paper, and plastic [25]. GoreTex allows a controlled amount of moisture to pass through the ivory, and if necessary, increased weighting will gradually flatten the ivory in 4-8 hours [26].
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Though the silica gel and Gore-Tex methods do reduce irregular distortions, it is often not possible or wise to attempt to completely flatten the miniature [24]. A safe alternative to attempting to force the ivory flat is simply to accept some distortion [24]. In fact, specialized sink mats can be made with 2-ply rag board [23] or Plastazone, which allow responses to changes in environment from the portrait miniatures [24]. Though there is a significant warp in the ivory of these books, flattening treatment is not recommended. There are too many mixed materials in the books to attempt flattening. Each of these materials would respond differently to the moisture introduced in flattening treatments. Furthermore, Book 1 and Book 2 exhibit natural curving which do not conform to the text block, nor should it be forced. Book 3 shows restrained buckling that is caused by various pressures exerted from the metal framing, adhesive and varnish. If these pieces were detached, they would benefit from a relaxing treatment from either silica gel chamber or a Gore-Tex procedure. Cracking Ivory cracks and losses are the result of former stresses and distortions, meaning pieces may not align and will be difficult to successfully repair [19]. Thus, they should be treated in the early stages as soon as possible to avoid increased damage [24]. Unfortunately, very extreme warping and cracking of ivory is essentially irreversible [3]. Prior to treatment of ivory cracks, individual pieces must be flattened first [20], with the backing paper removed [24]. Experimentation to find the ideal adhesive for treating ivory resulted in nearly every material being used in the past [27]. Mowilith DMC2 is currently recommended based on CCI test results,


and is the one favoured at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) for ivory miniatures [24]. Cracks are repaired with a thin Japanese paper and Mowilith DMC2 from the back of the miniature [24]. If this is not strong enough, another highly successful method is the local application of cyanoacrylate adhesive (IKG) in small dots along the crack [23]. Any remaining gaps may be filled with a high melting point microcrystalline wax toned with pigments and softened with solvent [20]. Other methods include cellulose powder mixed with Klucel L in ethanol, or filling larger areas with highly burnished pieces of paper [22]. Coloured Polyfilla, a water-miscible cellulose filler, can also be used due to its ease of workability and low strength which allows ivory movement [28]. A wax and resin mixture has also proven very successful, and can easily be toned with coloured pencils [23]. The only cracking present is on Book 3 where the pin for the clasp is attached (Figure 14). Since the pin remains inside the ivory, and the ivory is secured together by the metal frames, the crack is fairly stable. It is best to discretely adhere cracks from the back, so access would need to be greater than that of these attached backs. If possible, Mowilith DMC2 and Japanese paper could be applied, and if this was too weak to adhere the natural break, dots of cyanoacrylate applied from the back would also work. Book 2 has a moderate area of loss on its back cover where the clasp had originally attached. The book is not at high risk of becoming more cracked; the previous damage was due to the metal addition which is now gone. If desired for aesthetic purposes, the loss could be successfully filled by a wax and resin mixture, tinted with a yellow tone to match the patina [23]. If the books were to be used to be read, or looked through often, the covers would

Figure 14. Crack in the cover of Book 3.

need to be more stable. But as such, they continue to display the intended beauty of ivory in a unique manner. Preservation Recommendations Similar to ivory miniatures, the books should be wrapped in stiff, acid-free tissue and placed in sturdy boxes [29]. The detaching covers of Book 1 and Book 2 may continue to be stored around the books, to prevent any irregular warping. Specialized sink mats should be made, to accommodate both the curve of the ivorys warp and the depth of the books. Conditions should be maintained at the optimal level for any ivory object; temperature between 19-25C, relative humidity between 4555% RH with no more than a 5% change in a 24 hour period, and illumination levels below 150 lux with the ultraviolet light (UV) restricted to 50 lux and 30 W per lumen at most for portrait miniatures [3]. The fragile books should be handled with cotton gloves and supported by a padded block [3]. Conclusion Indeed, these ivory books are quite unique, yet at the same time are closely related to ivory portrait miniatures. The history of the use of ivory in the two objects overlaps as miniatures got their start
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from illuminated manuscripts, though declined in popularity by the time these books were made. Cutting and veneering techniques were much the same, as well as consequent risks of deterioration. Similarities in history of ivory use, ivory processing, and risks of deterioration led to a comparison of conservation techniques. Though the book covers are in poor condition, it is due to the inherent vice of the ivory book structure. Thus, conservation treatment may not yield lasting effects, so administering preventive conservation practices in order to prevent further damage would be a more appropriate approach. Through research on the history of ivory use in book covers, it is evident that there has been a long tradition which may have ended around the time of these three examples. They are thus in a stable enough condition to display the delicate and beautiful craftsmanship of ivory in the unique form of book covers. Furthermore, this comparison has revealed the impact that the growing knowledge of portrait miniatures in Canada is beginning to have on other areas of conservation. Acknowledgements The author would like to thank Library and Archives Canada as well as the following people for their invaluable assistance: Anne Maheux and Genevieve Samson at LAC for all their support; Scott Williams and Tom Stone at the Canadian Conservation Institute for examining and analyzing the ivory materials; Gayle McIntyre at Fleming College for her encouragement and feedback; Alan Derbyshire at the Victoria and Albert Museum for the use of his photographs; Maria Bedynski at LAC for sharing her expertise in portrait miniatures; and especially Lynn Curry at LAC for her inspiration and mentorship throughout this entire project.
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[1] B. Burack, Ivory and its Uses, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont, USA, 1984 [2] O. Krzyszkowska, Ivory and Related Materials: an Illustrated Guide, Institute of Classical Studies, London, 1990 [3] I. M. Godfrey, Ivory, Bone and Related Materials, D. Gilroy and I. M. Godfrey (eds.) A Practical Guide to the Conservation and Care of Collections, Western Australian Museum, Perth, 1998, pp. 47-52 [4] G. Matthaes, The Art Collector's Illustrated Handbook, Museo d'Arte e Scienza, Milan, 1997 [5] J. Thornton, The Structure of Ivory and Ivory Substitutes, A.I.C. Preprints of Ninth Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, 1981, pp. 173-181 [6] S. Williams, The Diphenylamine Spot Test for Cellulose Nitrate in Museum Objects, CCI Notes 17/2, Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, 1994, URL (accessed October 2009) [7] S. Williams, CCI 120102: Near Infrared Spectroscopic Analysis of Ivory Book Covers, Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, 2009, unpublished report [8] E. O. Espinoza, and M.-J. Mann, Identification Guide for Ivory and Ivory Substitutes, Washington D.C., World Wildlife Fund and The Conservation Foundation, 1991, URL (accessed September 2009) [9] C.L. Connor, The Color of Ivory: Polychromy on Byzantine Ivories, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1997 [10] R.H. Randall Jr., Masterpieces of Ivory from the Walters Art Gallery, Hudson Hills Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, 1985 [11] "Watercolour on Ivory", Victoria and Albert Museum, URL (accessed November 2009) [12] C. Aiken, Literature that Addresses the Characterization and the Conservation of Portrait Miniatures, Reviews in Conservation 1, 2000, pp. 3-9 [13] J. Murrell, "Portrait Miniatures on Ivory: Problems of Technique and Style", Traitement des supports.


Travaux interdisciplinaires: journes sur la conservation, restauration des biens culturels, 1989, pp. 169-176 [14] Care of Ivory, Bone, Horn and Antler, CCI Notes 6/1, Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, 1988, URL (acessed September 2009) [15] C. Holtzapffel and J. C. Thompson, Working Horn, Ivory & Tortoiseshell, Portland, The Caber Press, 2000 [16] C. Aiken, "Ivory and the Art of Miniature Painting", Looking for Eulabee Dix: The Illustrated Biography of an American Miniaturist, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, 1997, pp. 285-293 [17] J.H. Pratt, Improvement in Ivory Covered Books, U.S. Patent No. 42,507 of April 26, 1864, United States Patent Office, New York, 1864 [18] E. Cristoferi and C. Fiori, "Polishing Treatments on Ivory Materials in the National Museum Ravenna", Studies in Conservation 37, 1992, pp. 259 [19] P.E. Guldbeck and A. B. MacLeish, Care of Antiques and Historical Collections, Rowman Altamira, 1996 [20] K. Eirk, and W. Wiebold, Objects of Affection: The Conservation of Portrait Miniatures, National Museum of American Art, unpublished report [21] M.T. Simpson and M. Huntley (eds.), "Paintings: Miniatures", Sothebys Caring for Antiques: a guide to handling, cleaning, display and restoration, Markham, Canada Octopus Publishing Group Canada, 1992, pp. 110-13 [22] A. Derbyshire, Restoration of miniatures on ivory. Sauvegarde et conservation des photographies, dessins, imprims et manuscrits, Actes des journes internationales d tudes de lARSAG, Paris, 30 sept. - 4 oct. 1991 (Paris, ARSAG, 1991) pp.147-151 [23] C. Aiken and M. Bedynski, LAC Portrait Miniature Project Condition Reports, Ottawa, Library and Archives Canada, 2007, unpublished report [24] A. Derbyshire, N. Frayling and C. Rnnerstam, Developments in the Field of Portrait Miniature Conservation, Restauratorenbltter 21, 2000, pp. 53-59

[25] M. Trojan-Bedynski and G. Gignac, Portrait Miniatures: History, Materials, Techniques and Conservation, 30th Canadian Association for Conservation Annual Conference, Quebec City, May 26-30, 2004, Library and Archives Canada, 2004 [26] A. Derbyshire, The Use of Gore-tex in the Flattening of Miniatures on Ivory, Paper Conservation News 63, 1992 [27] C. Snow and T. Weisser, The Examination and Treatment of Ivory and Related Materials, Adhesives and Consolidants, The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, London, 1984 [28] F. Minney, "The Conservation and Reconstruction of a Late Bronze Age Ivory Inlaid Box from Palestine", The Conservator, vol. 15, 1991, pp. 3-7 [29] Victoria and Albert Museum, The Care of Ivory, Technical Notes on the Care of Art Objects, no. 6, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1971

Paper Conservator Contact: Josie Wornoff is an emerging paper conservator from Keene, Ontario, Canada. She began her postsecondary education with an Honours Bachelor of Arts at University of Toronto, majoring in Art History and English. During this time she held many volunteer and paid positions at various cultural institutions across Ontario, and spent two summers abroad studying art history in Italy and Mexico. Josie then completed the Collections Conservation and Management program at Sir Sandford Fleming College. This concluded with a four month internship at Library and Archives Canada Preservation Centre, specializing in the conservation of books and art on paper. Josie recently completed a project conserving a large collection of fire damaged art and artifacts for a private conservation business in Florida. Currently, she is preserving books through digitization initiatives at Internet Archive Canada in Toronto.
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An Assessment of Enzyme Activity, Fungicides and Some Mummification Materials for the Inhibition of Microbial Deterioration

by Abdelrazek Elnaggar, Ahmed Sahab, Siham Ismail, Gamal Mahgoub and Mohammed Abdelhady

Fungal and bacterial strains were isolated from some Egyptian mummies (from the Ismailia Museum, Ismailiaa, Egypt; the El-Dokki Agriculture Museum in Cairo, Egypt and human mummies in storage at the Ehnasia Museum in Beni-Sweif, Egypt). The biological samples were taken from indoor air of the mummy chamber as well as from the linen bandages and some deteriorated mummies from museum storage. Seven species of fungi were isolated and identified as Alternaria tenuis (9.5%), Aspergillus humicola (23.8%), Aspergillus niger (23.8%), Chaetomella horrida (9.5%), Chaetomium globosum (14.28%), Hormodendrum viride (14.28%) and Penicillium corylophilum (4.9%). It is obvious from the morphological properties and biochemical activity of the microorganisms that they were able to decompose proteins, cellulose, fats and starch, the fundamental contents of a mummy's body. The most prominent bacteria isolated were Halococcus morrhuae (30.76%), Streptococcus pyogenes (23.07%), Micrococcus Kristinae (15.38%), Micrococcus cinereus (15.38%) and Halobacterium pharaonis (13.38). Results show that A. niger, A. humicola, H. viride, and P. corylophilum were very sensitive to the mummification material of natron salt. The growth of P. corylophilum was completely inhibited at all concentrations of benlate and thymol while A. niger and H. viride were completely inhibited at all thymol concentrations and at 100 ppm of benlate fungicide. The growth of H. viride was completely inhibited at 5 % of cedar oil. The fungal isolates of A. niger, H. viride, and P. corylophilum were found to produce various amounts of extracellular enzymes (Avicelase, CMCase and cellobiase).These enzymes play an important role in deteriorating linen bandages as well as the mummys body.


Research Aims The objectives of the present investigation are to study the fungal colonization and exoenzymatic activities of some deteriorated Egyptian mummies, and the effect of mummification materials on the fungal growth to determine the efficiency of these materials in the mummification process. Furthermore, another important aim is to study the effect of some fungicides in preservation of mummies from fungal attack. Introduction Biodeterioration is considered a great factor in the decomposition of the Egyptian mummies, because fungi and bacteria grow and feed with many of their constituent products, such as protein, fats, starch and cellulose, which represent a stable substrate to microbial growth. There are a number of abiotic and biotic factors such as pollution, light, humidity, temperature, microorganisms, insects, etc., that have deteriorating effects on museum materials [1]. Among these, biological agents such as actinomycetes, fungi, bacteria etc., may cause massive damage to museum objects [2]. Studies on indoor aeromycoflora have attracted the attention of several aerobiologists [2-5]. Martinez et al. [6] isolated a total of 469 fungal colonies from 12 mummies that presented deterioration attributed to colonizing fungi. Among the isolated fungi Penicillium, Cladosporium and Aspergillus were found. Most of these fungi have the ability to produce various enzymes (cellulases, amylases, proteases, keratinases, etc.). Cellulase enzymes degrade cellulose found in linen bandages to double sugars and endoglaconases enzymes cut the cellulose chain in a random fashion whereas, exogluconases enzymes successively remove single cellobiose or glucose units from the non-reducing end of the cellulose chain [7, 8]. Many fungi are able to cause zoonotic super40
Figure 1. A human mummy at Ehnasia Museum, Beni-Sweif, Egypt. Figure 2. Isolation of biological samples from a mummy at Ehnasia Museum (Beni-Sweif, Egypt).

ficial infections as a consequence of invading keratinize tissues of skin, hair, and nails [9, 10]. Materials and methods Samples Biological samples were taken from a linen-wrapped mummy, from the air of mummy chambers and from deteriorated Egyptian mummies preserved in museum storage as follows: human mummy no. 2520 and 2519 from the Ismailia Museum (Ismailiaa, Egypt); animal mummies No. 35 and 93 from the El-Dokki Agriculture Museum (Cairo, Egypt) and human mummies in storage at Ehnasia Museum (Beni-Sweif, Egypt, see figures 1,2). Sampling of
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air spora surrounding the above mummies was done using the plate exposure method [11]. Isolation and identification of fungal strains Swaps from linen bandages wrapped mummies were transferred aseptically to potato dextrose agar plates [12] which were used for the cultivation of bacteria and moulds. The Petri dishes were incubated at 28 2 C for 7 days for fungi and 3 days for bacterial counts. Fungal isolates were later microscopically analyzed and identified [1315]. The scheme of Buchanan and Gibon [16] was employed in the identification of bacterial isolates. The frequency occurrence of each genus was expressed as the percentage of samples containing a given organism. Effect of some materials of mummification on fungal growth Each of the following mummification materials natron, myrrh, juniperus, Cinnamomium camphora, Arabic gum, cassia, mastic resin, and beeswax Table 1. Characteristics of the fungicides used.

was separately examined for its effect on the visual growth of some selected fungi isolated from the mummies using PDA plates. 1 ml of spore suspension (approximately 106/ ml) of 7 days old culture was placed in a Petri dish and poured by PDA medium. After solidification 0.2 g of the mummification material was put in the centre of the dish plate (1 cm diameter) and was fumigated by UV light. Dishes were incubated at 28 2C for 7 days. The developed colonies of various fungal growths were visually determined using the following scale: + (10% growth), ++ (50% growth), +++ (75% growth) and ++++ (100 % growth). Effect of some fungicides on the linear growth of fungi Three kinds of fungicides recommended for use in archaeological field were tested in this experiment at different concentrations in order to ascertain their effect on the growth of fungi and their inhabitation effect. Table 1 shows the fungicides, their chemical name and composition, and the concentrations used based on the active ingredient.


Chemical name

Chemical composition Isopropylmetacresol (CH3)2 CHC6 H3 (CH3) OH Methyl-1- ( Bytyl carbamyl) - 2benzimidazole carbamate C15H18N4O3 Cedrol C15H26O

Active ingredients (%)

Concentrations 0 25 ppm 50 ppm 100 ppm 200 ppm 6.25 ppm 12.5 ppm 50 ppm 100 ppm 0 0.5 % 1% 2.5 % 5%


Thyme camphor





Cedar oil

Cedar camphor


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The fungicide was added to PDA medium after sterilization, while still warm. Incubation was carried out at 28 2C for 7 days. Enzymatic activity of fungal isolates For studying the enzymatic activity (such as Avicelase and endoglucanase) of the isolated fungal strains, three isolates of the tested fungi were screened for their abilities to produce extracellular enzymes in liquid media with the use of some buffers (0.05 M Citrate-phosphate buffer, PH = 4.8 and 0.02 M Acetate buffer, PH = 5) which contains 0.02 % sodium azide. Two kinds of reagents have been used (Arsenomolybdate reagent (A), Somogyi copper reagent (B). Growth medium and substances Mandels and Weber's medium [17] was prepared, containing (g/L): 1.4 (NH4)2 SO4; 2.0 KH2PO4; 0.3 urea; 3.0 CaCl2; 0.3 Mg SO4.7H2O; 0.005 FeSO4; 0.0014 ZnSO4; 0.0016 MnSO4; 0.002 COCl2; protease peptone (1%); tween 80 (0.1%) and Avicel (1%) with final pH of 5.0. The medium was supplemented individually by cellulose, protein, fats and starch as carbon sources instead of Avicel. Growth in liquid culture Erlenmeyer flasks containing 50 ml of Mandels and Weber's medium with adequate carbon source were inoculated by 5% (v/v) inoculums of the tested fungi (Aspergillus niger (4), Hormodendrum viride and Penicillium corylophilum). The flasks were then incubated at 28 2C for 5, 7 and 20 days. After each incubation period the content of each flask was filtered. Culture filtrates were subjected to enzyme assay. Enzyme preparation Extracellular enzymes were prepared by filtrating the culture through filter paper (Wattman no. 1)

while intracellular enzymes were obtained by grinding the washed, cold mycelium with sand in a minimum volume of citrate-phosphate buffer (0.05 M, PH 4.8 ), then centrifuging the mixture and using the supernatant as the enzymes solution. Enzyme assays Avicelase (1,4--D-glucan cellobiohyrolase) was measured according to Seddler and Khan [18] using Avicel cellulose as substrate, while endoglucanase (1,4--D-glucanhydrolase) was assayed as carboxymethyl cellulose (CMCase ) according to the method of Mandels and Weber, the resulting reducing sugar, in both cases was measured by Somogyi reagent [19] using glucose as standard. -Glucosidase was performed by a modification of Bergham and Petterson method [20] where 0.5 ml of enzyme solution was incubated with 0.5 ml of 0.4 % cellobiose in 0.5 ml citrate-phosphate buffer at ph 4.8 for 30 min at 50 C. The reaction was stopped by heating the mixture in a boiling water bath for 5 min. The enzyme activity was determined by measuring the concentration of the released glucose using glucose oxidase kit (Bioanalytical Laboratories- Palm City, U.S.A), and an enzyme unit is considered the necessary amount of enzyme to liberate one mol of the reducing sugar under assays conditions specified above. Results and discussion Survey of fungal and bacterial isolates Seven species were isolated and identified using optical microscopy as: Alternaria tenuis, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus humicola, Chaetomella horrida, Chaetomium globosum, Hormodendrum viride and Penicillium corylophilum. The frequent occurrence was found to be ranging from 4.7% for Penicillium corylophilum to 23.8% for Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus humicola. The other species could be arranged based on the frequency of their occure-conser vation


rence as follows: Chaetomium globosum and Hormodendrum viride (14.28%) and Alternaria tenuis and Chaetomella horrida (9.5%). There are many reports dealing with the microbial levels, such as Abdel-Kareem et al. [21], Cook and Rayner [22], Darwish and Sahab [23]. Five bacterial species belonging to four genera were identified and classified as: Halococcus morrhuae (30.76%), Streptococcus pyogenes (23.07%), Micrococcus Kristinae, Micrococcus cinereus and Halobacterium pharaonis (15.38%). Effect of some mummification materials on visual fungal growth The data in Table 2 shows that the mummification materials have different ability to inhibit the mycelial growth of the tested fungal isolates. The

five strains of A. niger, H. viride, P. corylophilum and A. humicola were very sensitive to natron salt and relatively sensitive to a Cinnnamomum camphora extract (figure 3). The natron salts had a large effect on the growth of the fungal isolates because it inhibited the fungal growth on a large area, as the NaCl present in natron salt is an historic preservation material. On the other hand, the same fungal isolates were less affected by myrrh and beeswax extracts and the mummification materials of Juniperus, Arabic gum and cassia extracts were found to have no effect on the tested fungal growth. Enzymatic activity Enzyme activity of cellulase production in fungal strains was measured with different substrates

Figure 3. From left to right: Effect of myrrh on the growth of Aspergillus humicola, effect of cinnamomium camphora on the growth of Aspergillus humicola, and effect of cinnamomium camphora on the growth of Aspergillus niger.

Table 2. Effect of some mummification materials on visual fungal growth of some fungal isolates after 15 days.

Fungal species Strain no. Natron Myrrh Juniperus Cinnamomum camphora Arabic gum Cassia Mistic resin Beeswax control 1

Aspergillus niger (strain no.) 2 3 4 5

H. viride P. corylophilum A. humicola

+ +++ +++

+ ++ +++

+ ++ +++

++ +++ +++

+ +++ +++

+ ++ ++++ ++++ ++++ +++ ++ ++++

++ ++ ++++ ++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++ ++++

+ ++ ++++ ++ ++++ ++++ ++++ +++ ++++

++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++

++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ +++ +++ +++ +++ +++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++ ++++

Legend: + (10% fungal growth), ++ (50% fungal growth), +++ (75% fungal growth), ++++ (100 % fungal growth).
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(cellulose, protein, fats, and starch) to know the ability of these fungi to produce these enzymes that react with the mummys skin and wrappings causing its decomposition. The results shown in Tables 3-5 reveal that all the tested fungi produced various amounts of extracellular enzymes (Avicelase, CMCase and cellobiase). The value of enzyme production depended on the fungal species and age of the culture. The ability of these fungi to decompose casein, cellulose, oil and starch has also been confirmed by other researchers. a) Avicelase enzyme The tested fungi showed feeble Avicelase activity ranging from 0.041 U/ml to 0.115 U/ml for A. niger, from 0.001 to 0.143 U/ml for H. viride and

from 0.009 to 0.399 U/ml for P. corylophilum after 5 and 20 days respectively (Table 3). The highest activity of Avicelase was recorded for cellulose following casein substrates. b) CMCase enzyme Table 4 showed that all the tested fungi produced different values of extracellular CMCase ranging from 0.103 to 0.643 U/ml for A. niger, from 0.013 to 2.050 U/ml for H. viride and from 0.010 to 1.136 U/ml for P. corylophilum. The highest activity of MCase was recorded for cellulose and casein substrates. Many authors [24, 25, 26, and 27] reported that all tested fungi had the ability to decompose cellulosic materials and produce cellulase enzymes.

Table 3. Effect of some substrates on Avicelase activity of some fungal strains isolated from mummies and incubated for 5, 7 and 20 days at 28 2C.

Fungal strain Incubation period/day Casein Cellulose Oil Starch

Nd: not determined

A. niger 5 0.027 0.021 0.014 0.021 7 0.114 nd 0.06 0.024 20 0.115 0.08 nd 0.032 5 0.093 0.109 0.0147 0.001

H. viride 7 0.05 nd 0.018 0.007 20 0.105 0.143 0.022 0.014 5

P. corylophilum 7 0.114 nd 0.029 0.056 20 0.046 0.399 0.057 0.013

0.027 0.1197 0.009 0.0143

Table 4: Effect of some substrates on CMCase activity of some fungal strains isolated from mummyies and incubated for 5, 7 and 20 days at 28 2C.

Fungal strain Incubation period/day Casein Cellulose Oil Starch

Nd: not determined

A. niger 5 0.311 0.321 0.45 0.103 7 0.321 nd 0.024 0.123 20 0.643 1.210 nd 0.139 5 0.643 0.205 0.09 0.043

H. viride 7 0.571 nd 0.013 0.43 20 0.06 0.296 0.013 0.69 5

P. corylophilum 7 0.322 nd 0.028 0.095 20 0.099 1.136 nd 0.114

0.122 0.928 0.01 0.013


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Table 5: Effect of some substrates on cellobiase activity of some fungal strains isolated from mummies and incubated for 5, 7 and 20 days at 28 2C.

Fungal strain Incubation period/day Casein Cellulose Oil Starch

Nd: not determined

A. niger 5 4.69 4.843 4.89 7.861 7 5.556 nd 6.482 5.556 20 5.69 6.389 6.945 5.463 5 0.279 0.293 0.105 0.125

H. viride 7 0.393 nd 0.115 0.209 20 3.703 3.703 0.122 0.293 5

P. corylophilum 7 0.831 nd 0.064 2.778 20 5.74 1.179 0.02 4.877

0.228 0.243 0.064 1.389

c) Cellobiase enzyme Table 5 shows that the highest cellobiase activity (7.861 U/ml) was obtained from the culture filtrate of A. niger after 5 days on starch substrate and the lower level (4.690 U/ml) on casein. In H. viride culture filtrate the highest value (3.703 U/ml) was shown on cellulose substrate and the lowest level (0.105 U/ml) on oil substrate after 5 days incubation period. High level of cellobiase activity (5.740 U/ml) was obtained in culture filtrate of P. corylophilum after 20 days on casein substrate and lower cellobiase (0.020 U/ml) was showed on oil after 20 days. The production of cellobiase from different fungi was reported by several authors [25, 28, 29, 30].

Effect of some fungicides on the linear growth of some fungi Table 6 shows the effect of some fungicides as agar amendment on the mycelial linear growth (A. niger, H. viride and P. corylophilum). Data indicate that the antifungal activity of benlate, thymol and cedar oil against fungal growth increased with the growth in fungicide concentration. The linear growth of P. corylophilum was completely inhibited at all concentrations of benlate and thymol while the growth of A. niger and H. viride was also completely inhibited at all concentrations of thymol and benlate at 100 ppm. The growth of H. viride was completely inhibited at 5% of cedar

Table 6. Effect of some fungicides on the linear fungal growth of some fungi isolated from mummies.

Fungi 0 Aspergillus niger Hormodendrum viride Penicillium corylophilum 100.0 100.0 100.0 0 Aspergillus niger Hormodendrum viride Penicillium corylophilum
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Benlate fungicide concentration (ppm) 6.25 70.0 80.0 0.0 25 75.5 0.0 0.0 12.5 33.3 72.1 0.0 50 63.6 0.0 0.0 50.0 22.2 60.0 0.0 100 42.6 0.0 0.0 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 200 0.0 0.0 0.0

Mean 45.1 62.4 20.0

Thymol concentration (ppm) 100.0 100.0 100.0 56.3 20.0 20.0



Fungi 0 Aspergillus niger Hormodendrum viride Penicillium corylophilum 100.0 100.0 100.0

Cedar oil concentration (%) 0.5 100.0 100.0 85.6 1.0 75.5 80.2 76.8 2.5 70.8 20.0 65.9 5.0 60.0 0.0 65.0

Mean 81.3 60.0 78.7

oil. These results are in total agreement with those reported by other researches on several fungi [31]. Cleaning procedures Removal of microbial stains and growths over the mummies has been carried out using scalpels and soft brushes accompanied with an extraction system, to reduce the spore's contamination in the working area (figure 4). Cleaning started from the middle to the edges to easily collect the fungal growths and dirt particles without the spread of the microbial contamination (figure 5). Isopropyl alcohol has been used to sterilize the cleaning equipment and the surrounding environments during and after cleaning (figures 6-7). White free acid papers have been place below the mummy to better collect the fungal conidia. Benlate fungicide (200 ppm) has been applied on the mummy's wrapping using a sprayer. After cleaning, mummies were covered by polyethylene to protect them from further contamination. For health and safety issues, the conservator must wear a mask, coat, goggles and gloves during cleaning to avoid inhalation of the microbial contaminants (figure 8). Conclusion After isolation of the microbial species from Egyptian mummies, experimental studies confirmed the efficiency of some of mummification materials on the inhibition of fungal growth, indicating that mummification materials may also function as biocides. The study indicates the ability of the

Figure 4. Mummy's head wrappings during cleaning.

Figure 5. Mummy's wrappings after cleaning.

Figure 6. Sterilization of the surrounding air during cleaning.

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Figure 7. Collecting and removal of dirt particles and fungal growths from a mummy.

Figure 8. The necessary tools for conservator' health and safety (masks, gloves, goggles).

isolated fungal strains from the Egyptian mummies to produce various amounts of extracellular enzymes (Avicelase, CMCase and cellobiase) which may lead to the decomposition of the mummy materials. Benlate, thymol and cedar oil show an ability to inhibit fungal growth. The authors would like to recommend creating better preventive conservation procedures in order to preserve the mummies from future damage. References [1] A. E. David, Conservation of mummified Egyptian Remains, in A. R. David (ed.), in Science in Egyptology: proceedings of the Science in Egyptology Symposia, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1986. [2] A. Arya, A. R. Shah, and S. Sadasivan, Indoor aeromycoflora of Baroda museum and deterioration of Egyptian mummy, Current Science 81(7), 2001, URL [3] P.H. Gregory, Microbiology of the Atmosphere, Leonard Hill Books, Aylesbury, England, 1973, pp. 377 [4] A. F. Sahab, F. Tawfic, S. Sahaba, and S. Mouse-conser vation

tafa, Indoor fungal airospora and microorganisms communities associated with old manuscripts of GEBO of Egypt, Journal of Agricultural Sciences 28(8), Mansoura University, 2003, pp. 6055- 6063 [5] K. Zielinska-Jankiewicz, A. Kozajda, M. Piotrowska, and I. Szadkowska-Stanczyk, Microbiological contamination in moulds in work environment in libraries and archive storage facilities, Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine 15, 2008, pp. 71-78 [6] R. Lpez-Martnez, F. Hernndez-Hernndez, B.E. Milln-Chiu, P. Manzano-Gayosso, and L. J. Mndez-Tovar, Effectiveness of imazalil to control the effect of fungal deterioration on mummies at the Mexico City Museum El Carmen (article in Spanish), Revista Iberoamericana de Micologa 24, 2007, pp. 283-288 [7] R. A. Zabel, and J. J. Morrell, Wood microbiology: decay and its prevention, Academic Press, San Diego, 1992 [8] T. Reinikainen, K. Henriksson, M. Siika-aho, O. Teleman and K. Poutanen, Low-level endoglucanase contamination in a Trichoderma


reesei cellobiohydrolase II preparation affects its enzymatic activity on -glucan, Enzyme and Microbial Technology 17(10), 1995, pp. 888-892, doi: 10.1016/0141-0229(95)00008-S, URL [9] D. H. Howard, Fungi Pathogenic for Humans and Animals. Part B: Pathogenicity and Detection, Marcel Dekker, New York, 1983, pp. 267-271 [10] I. Weitzman, and R. C. Summerbell, The dermatophytes, Clinical Microbiology Reviews 8(2), 1995, pp. 240-259, URL [11] M. F. Madelin, and A.H. Linton, Microbiology of air, in L.E. Hawker and A.H. Linton (eds.), Microorganisms: Form, Function and Environment, Edward Arnold, London, 1972, pp. 529-537 [12] O. N. Allen, Experiment on soil bacteriology, Burgess Publishing, Minneapolis, 1961 [13] C. Thom, and K.B. Raper, A Manual of Aspergilli, The Williams and Wikins Company, Baltimore, 1945 [14] C. J. Gilman, A manual of soil fungi, Iowa State College Press, Ames, 1957 [15] H. L. Barnett, and B. B. Hunter, Illustrated genera of imperfect fungi, American Phytopathological Society, Burgess Press, Minnesota,1986 [16] R. E. Buchanan, and N. E. Gibons, Bergeys Manual of determinative bacteriology, The Williams and Wilkins Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 1974 [17] M. Mandels, and J. Weber, The production of cellulases, Advances in Chemistry 95, 1969, pp. 391-420, doi: 10.1021/ba-1969-0095.ch023, URL

[18] J. N. Saddler and A. W. Khan, Cellulolytic enzyme system of Acetivibrio cellulolyticus, Canadian Journal of Microbiology 27(3), 1981, pp. 288294, doi:10.1139/m81-045, URL [19] M. Somogyi, Notes on sugar determination, The Journal of Biological Chemistry 195, 1952, pp. 19-23 [20] L. E. R. Berghem, and L. G. Petterson, The mechanism of enzymatic cellulose degradation. Purification of a cellulolytic enzyme from Trichoderma viride active on highly ordered cellulose, European Journal of Biochemistry 37(1), 1974, pp. 21-30 [21] O.M.A. Abdel-Kareem, J. Szostak-Kotowa, W. Barabasz, I. Pasmionka, and A. Galus, Fungal Biodeterioration of Ancient Egyptian Textiles, Part I: Survaying Study for the Most Dominant Fungi on Ancient Egyptian Textiles, in Drobnousreoje W rodowisku Wystpowanie, Aktywno i Znaczenie, Wyd. AR Krakw, 1997, pp. 279-290 [22] R. C. Cook, and A. D. M. Rayner, Ecology of Sarotrophic Fungi, Longman, London, 1984, pp. 415 [23] S.S. Darwish and A. F. Sahab, "Indoor airborne moulds in archaeological museum and deterioration of Egyptian mummy", International Conference on Chemistry, Green and Sustainable Chemistry in Developing Countries (Chem05), 3-5 March 2008, Faculty of Science, Chemistry Deptartment, Cairo University, pp. 371-385 [24] S. M. Fagan, and C. L. Fergus, Extracellular enzymes of some additional fungi associated with mushroom culture, Mycopathologia 87, 1984, pp. 67-70, doi: 10.1007/BF00436631, URL
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[25] K.H. Domsch, W. Gams, and T.H. Anderson (eds), Compendium of Soil Fungi, Vol. 1, IHWVerlag, Eching, Germany, 1993 [26] S. A. Ismail, Biochemical studies on Microbial -Galactosidases, PhD Thesis, Chemistry Deptartment, Faculty of Science, Cairo University (Egypt), 1994 [27] S.A. Ismail, A. F. Sahab, and S.S. Darwish, Effect of some cultural conditions, pesticides and consolidators on growth and enzme activity of Trichoderma viride, Modelling, Measurement and Control C: Chemistry, Geology, Environment and Bioengineering 66 (5-6), 2005 [28] C. Marinescu, and V. I. Popa, "On the biosynthesis and characterization of cellulosic enzymes. II. Cellulase production enhancement in different biosynthesis conditions, Cellulose Chemistry and Technology 34, 2000, pp. 35-49 [29] M. Rocha, N. Cordeiro, A.C.F. Cunha Queda, and R. Capela, Microbiological and chemical characterization during composting of cattle manure and forestry wastes a case study in Madeira Island, in F. C. Jr. Michel, R. F. Rynk, and H. A. J. Hoitink (eds.), Proceedings of the 2002 International Symposium Com posting and Compost Utilization, The JG Press Inc., Emmaus, pp. 156-170 [30] S. Y. Sahaba, Physiological studies on microorganisms isolated from deteriorated from old manscripts, Master Thesis, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University (Egypt), 1988 [31] A. H. A. Ellil, and E. F. Sharaf, Growth, Morphological Alterations and Adaptation of Some Plant Pathogenic Fungi to Benlate and Zineb. A New Look, Journal of Biological Sciences 3(3), 2003, pp. 271-281
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Conservation-educator Contact: Abdelrazek Elnaggar is a conservator of organic objects, currently Assistant Lecturer at the Conservation Department of the Faculty of Archaeology at Fayoum University, Egypt. He got a Bachelors degree (2000) in Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Works of Art from the Cairo University and a Masters degree (2006) in Conservation of Egyptian mummies from Cairo University. He had a scholarship (2007/2008) in laser cleaning of ancient Egyptian Leather at IESL-FORTH in Greece and received a postgraduate diploma in comparative studied on cleaning techniques in relation to Laser cleaning conservation (2008/2009 UK). He has an ongoing PhD thesis focusing on the laser applications to conservation of Egyptian monuments, including collaborative projects in UK with Liverpool University, Natural History Museum, Petrie museum, Imperial College, and UCL, in Italy with Politecnico di Milano, and the Supreme Council of Antiquities (Egypt).

Department of Plant Path., National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo

Department of Chemistry of Natural Microbial Products, National Research Centre, Dokki

Conservation Department, Faculty of Archaeology, Fayoum University, Alfayoum, Egypt

Conservation Department, Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt

case study

The Hidden Flora of Leonardo da Vincis Painting Workshop

By Mikls Szentkirlyi
Article translated by Barbara and Stevin John Davidson and originally published in the Proceedings of the 8th International Seminar on Restoration, that took place in September 24-26, 2008 in Handlov, The Slovak Republic, organized by the Chamber of Restorers.


Restoration of any damaged artwork should remind us of a flower garden grown with plenty of love. In both cases it is crucial to consider what has already blossomed and 'what has still to live'. This idea guided me through the process of restoration of this unusually damaged panel painting.

Virgin Mary and Child with the Infant St. John the Baptist. Painting before conservation-restoration.
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The painting in study, representing the Virgin Mary with Child Jesus and young St. John the Baptist from the collection of Szpmvszeti Museum in Budapest, was never exhibited due to its advanced deterioration state and only a few people have undertaken its study. The support, made of a thin poplar panel, had caused countless vertical cracks to appear on the surface that interfered with the integrity of the paintings composition. The painting was covered with several layers of darkened varnish resulting in the alteration of the colour scheme that was only partially perceivable and the image could hardly be recognised. On a few areas the polychromy detached and the colour layer was flaking. Extensive over paintings were the characteristic sign of the advanced stage of damage of the paintings surface. Large lacunas in the area of the sky, grazes and detachments on the face and neck of Virgin Mary and loss of colour on her cloths were critical. These damages were symptoms of a work of art which was not cared for and left to decay.
The poor state of conservation of Mary's portrait.

Aspect of the painting after cleaning.

Aspect after conservation-restoration treatment.


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Above: Network of fine cracks on the surface of Childs portrait (left). Aspect after retouching (right).

After the preliminary tests, the outstanding painting technique of this artwork became visible, with its rich colour scheme and true depiction of the background landscape. But unexpected mistakes and insufficiencies were also revealed. Based on the research done by the conservatorrestorers a proposal for the treatment of the painting was developed which was accepted by the consultants. The extent of the cleaning and the complete uncovering of the original allowed a better understanding of the spiritual strength of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) workshops creation. Observing this rediscovered artwork brings to mind a resemblance hard not to notice with both variations of the Madonna of the rocks, which can be found in the National Gallery, London and in the Louvre Museum, Paris, with their beautiful colour harmonies, mysterious play of lights and shades, rocks and flowers. The composition of the painting is closed with a half circle area in the upper part. The landscape contains a monolith rock towering into the sky, a beech forest, a grove and a water pothole. Virgin Mary is kneeling, raising her hands in a protective way over her Child and the young St. John the Baptist, who are carelessly playing in the foreground decorated with rich flora and vegetation.
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Below: Detail of the rich background of the painting.



In background, behind the rock, there is a river valley with a city disappearing in a bluish mist. Over the city there is a scaffold with gallows. Further in the back, bluish towers and hills, outlined according to the principles of air perspective, lose themselves and blend with the clear blue sky. After the Madonna by Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (1467-1516), the painting at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest is the closest to Leonardos creation. After analysing it in individual details, it became clear that it can not be the work of the great master, although it is likely that he saw the painting during its creation and perhaps even corrected it, since the basic idea of the composition belongs to him. In fact, a drawing from Leonardos sketchbook served as template for the creation of Marys figure [1], which could only be seen by an artist from Leonardos closest circle. Who this artist was is subject to future research, once the paintings known history requires more answers.
Above right: Detail of the rich background of the painting. Below: Detail of Child Jesus and the young St. John the Baptist playing in the rich decorated foreground.


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The only known fact is that count Jnos Plffy bought it in London in 1862. It was probably then when the panel was parqueted. In 1912 the count offered it as a gift to the Szpmvszeti Museum.
Drawings from Leonardo's sketchbook served as a template for the creation of Marys figure.

For a long time, the painting was considered to be the work of Leonardos pupil Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno, known as Salai (1480-1524), although there is no evidence for this assumption. Bernhard Berenson, who was the first recognised researcher of Italian fine art from the 14th to 16th century, considered (twice, in 1932 and 1936) the painting to be the creation of one of Leonardos pupils whose work was also influenced by the Flemish art. Despite the fact that the painting was examined by specialists, we are still only uncovering analogies and stylistic analyses. The clarification of the authorship will certainly be an important aspect in the study of the artwork and of the conservationrestoration documentation done by the present author and his colleagues: conservator-restorer gnes Dics, who has participated to the conservation treatment and conservator-restorer va Galambos, who has performed the samples analysis of the painting. A number of people were also involved in the stylistic analysis of the painting and in the identification of the drawings and paintings from Leonardos workshop. Nadia Righi [2] has proved that the figure of Mary copies the shapes of the drawing found on the bottom of a page from Leonardos sketchbook [1]. On the same page, as an independent drawing, is also pictured Child Jesus. This figure is similar with that of the Jesus from the painting, except his mirrored position. Another similitude as a mirrored projection seams to be Marys profile to a Madonna (The Madonna Litta) from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Furthermore, on the drawing template [3] of that painting an earlobe is recognizable behind the curls of her hair, which is similar to the one of our painting. It is also very likely that the concept of the composition of the young St. John the Baptist, looking from behind Marys right side,

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is derived from one of Leonardos templates, as well as the plants pictured in the front. Before cleaning, a stratigraphic analysis was performed in order to study the paint layer structure. Marys face and hair were well preserved and due to their similarity to those of the sketch we immediately observed the under drawing, made with brown colour. The preparatory under drawing can only be found under the composition of the figures, and not under the background landscape. After the removal of the thick darkened varnish layer and of the over painting, all the degradations, grazes and lacunas became obvious. The damages and the missing parts were repaired at least three times in the past, especially at the level of the figures. The details of the landscape were almost completely well preserved. The retouching of the lacunas was performed gradually and only in the necessary amount, except for

Marys neck which required a more complex reconstruction due to the fact that the colour layer was only preserved in fragmentary traces but still allowing the aesthetical revitalisation of the painting. The fine craquelure network and the slightly scuffed areas were interpreted and accepted as signs of aging with time and therefore were preserved as much as possible. Only after restoration the unique aesthetical qualities of the preserved parts of the original painting could be fully appreciated and the differences between the painting technique of the background landscape and of the figures could be evaluated. In reality, our eye is attracted more to the richness of the landscape details. The view of the northern Italian city in clear blue colours, with the houses blending in a bluish mist, the uniform conception of the water surfaces and of the rocks in the background prove the demanding approach of the

Above: Erythronium dens-canis (en., 'dog's tooth violet', it., 'dente di cane') in the painting (left) and the biology drawing of the flower (right).
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Dianthus carthusianorum. Aquilegia vulgaris L.

Pinguicula vulgaris, carnivorous plant.

painter. Our attention is also drawn to smaller details such as the stones that can be counted individually in the undermined bank. A few decades earlier, the Italian masters could only have admired these motifs in the paintings of their Flemish contemporaries.
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The depiction of the plants in the foreground proves the knowledge of botany of the renaissance artists. The colours of the flowers petals are not only a simple decoration, on the contrary, similarly to the flowers found in Leonardos artworks, they can be ordered into existing families. We can recognise Dianthus carthusianorum, favored flower of monastery gardens with its lance-shaped leaves, with two stamens between its bright two petals. Pictured in a more humble way is the Erythronium dens-canis next to it. In Italian, dente di cane is a protected plant named according to its bulb, similar to a dogs tooth with smaller side bulbs placed deep into the ground, which in spring time is an embellishment of the hornbeam forests. To the right there is a Pinguicula vulgaris, a carnivorous plant found in marshlands and peat bogs. On the left side of the painting is wonderfully painted Aquilegia vulgaris L. whose composition is almost identical to the same flower from Leonardos painting Leda.


Virgin Mary and Child with the Infant St. John the Baptist. Painting after restoration.
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Several similarities remind of the spirit of Leonardos workshops creation, strongly spiced up by a northern Italian master. This fact became clear during the three years of restoration. The difference between the figures and the background composition is a strong sign of different creative approaches. While the painters grasp of the figures is generous, the painting technique being related to Leonardos understanding, the background landscape is carefully composed and a rich vegetation is portrayed. The exhaustive knowledge of the perspective rules, botany and the naturalistic depiction of the landscape are signs of a master who had acquired the practical experience of painters from northern countries before having contact with Leonardos workshop. The panel painting, restored thanks to the Adam Clarks Foundation, was first introduced together with the restoration documentation at a temporary exhibition in 2007. Since 2008 it is exhibited in a room together with Raphael's "Esterhazy Madonna", as part of the permanent collection of Italian renaissance.

Detail of Mary's portrait and the landscape after restoration.

MIKLS SZENTKIRLYI Conservator-restorer Contact: Mikls Szentkirlyi is a conservator-restorer of paintings and Head of the Department of Restoration at the Szpmvszeti Mzeum (Museum of Fine Arts), Budapest. He initiated his training in 1968-1973 in Painting studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Ion Andreescu in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, at the Master class of prof. Gbor Miklssy, painter artist, and in 1974-1977 he performed an M.A. in Conservation Arts, specializing in paintings, at the Department of Conservation Training at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, in the master class of professor Dezs Varga. In 2006 he obtained Dr. Habil. (D.Sc. Equivalent) from the Hungarian Art University. He is also a member of the Hungarian Art Academy since 2010.

References [1] Leonardo da Vinci, Studies for the Nativity (recto); Three Geometrical Diagrams and a Caricature of a Head (verso), 148085, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1917 (17.142.1), available at URL [2] Nadia Righi, Opere d'arte lombarda nei musei italiani e stranieri: Szpmveszti Mzeum, Budapest; la collezione Plffy, Arte Lombarda, N.S. 117, 2, 1996, pp. 123124 [3] Codex Vallardi, accession number 2376, Louvre Museum
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The Restoration of the Transferred Wall Painting
by Ildik Jeszeniczky
Restoration done by Ildik Jeszeniczky and Kornlia Forrai Article translated by Barbara and Stevin John Davidson and originally published in the Proceedings of the 8th International Seminar on Restoration, that took place in September 24-26, 2008 in Handlov, The Slovak Republic, organized by the Chamber of Restorers.


Introduction In the 90ies of the 19th century, Kroly Pulszky, the then director of the State Gallery in Budapest, enriched the collection of the Gallery with many art objects, panel paintings and frescoes, which he bought during his travels in Italy from palaces and churches condemned for demolition or assigned for reconstruction. Artworks got into his hands mainly through antiquity dealers, so not always he managed to find out their origin. Sometimes, such as in the case of the Annunciation wall painting, he discovered them in situ and ordered their removal directly from the original building and their following restoration. In September 1894, through the antiquarian Marian Rocchi, he purchased the Annunciation fresco, located on a side wall, together with the frescoes of allegoric womens figures originally painted on the ceiling of the first floor of Palazzo Isidori in Perugia. The wall painting transferred onto canvas is now in Budapest, kept as an important example of the late Gothic Umbrian painting. According to the catalogue of the Szpmvszeti Museum, the artwork was created around the year 1380 by the artist Cola Petruccioli for the wall of the first floor of the palace, originally used as a chapel. The scene is depicted in a Gothic interior, on the left side a kneeling angel brings the message to Mary, who is represented on the right side of the painting sitting in front of a lecture dais. In the missing part it was probably painted the dove of the Holy Ghost. The painting was executed in fresco technique and is decorated around the edges with repeated motifs. The plaster haloes were covered with a coloured metal leaf which could be used as an imitation of gold.
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Palazzo Isidori, Perugia.

In the past decade art historians succeed to locate the Palazzo Isidori in Perugia, where the restoration of the remaining frescoes from the series of wall paintings is now undergoing. About the sale and transfer of the wall paintings a few written documents were preserved, the oldest from the year 1871 in which the owner Francesco Bassardini reports in a letter to the mayor that he intends to remove some of the frescoes from the first floor of the palace and sell them to the city. As the mayor did not respond to Bassardinis letter the inheritors repeated the offer a few years later. In May 1889, the government of the city Perugia named a delegation with three specialist members to judge the state and importance of the frescoes. The report of the specialists and the request of the owners was not enough to persuade the mayor to buy the frescoes. Five years later, Kroly Pulszky appreciated their artistic value, ordered their detachment and paid their purchase price.


Conservation-restoration In the summer of 2005, together with the colleague Kornlia Forray, the present author was entrusted the restoration of this wall painting by the museum. The restoration works were preceded by a series of detailed analysis and investigations. The research comprised the identification and gathering of all possible documents, art historical researches and archival photographs, and the collection of the restoration documentation of the frescoes from this cycle, such as procedures reports and specialised articles. In the summer of 2005 we travelled to Perugia to study in situ the fragments of frescoes from Palazzo Isidori belonging to the same cycle of wall paintings as The Annunciation, which were uncovered in 1994. We were guided through the palace by Ms. Paola Passalaqua, responsible of the frescoes conservation. The palace is owned by the University of
The Annunciation, photography in grazing light.

Perugia and at the time of our visit it was under renovation. The research performed on site was helpful in drawing up the restoration proposal and also influenced the proceeding of the individual stages of restoration itself. An important aspect was the surveying of the uneven surface of the preserved wall paintings fragments. We could see that the surface is not smooth, but also not as wavy as of the Annunciation, and that they have quite different characters. We came to the conclusion that the surface of the in situ fresco fragments is wavy due to the influence of the masonry and the plastering method, while the waving of the transferred painting was created unambiguously by the creasing of the canvas. Ms. Paola Passalaqua explained the difficulties met during the reattachment and conservation of the wall paintings, such as the detachment of individual layers that lost adherence amongst themselves and to the wall, and the weakened


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binding of the plaster. These problems were similar to those experiences by us with the thin intonaco that was removed together with the paint layer, which was also very brittle. During our visit, we also surveyed the net system used for attachment of the plaster on the ceiling and the ways of making and laying the beams. Based on the stylistic and technical analysis of the Annunciation fresco we concluded that it was undoubtedly created in the same period as the preserved fragments, with which it is related in a number of morphological details such as, for example, the decorative frame with a bordure motif. If we compare the fragments preserved in situ and the allegoric female figures from the ceiling with the depiction of the Annunciation, it is obvious that the latter can be considered the most important piece of the series because of its location within the fresco ensemble. Written documents mention that by entering the Palazzo, the visitor first laid eyes on this centrally positioned painting. The painting was probably seriously damaged by the transfer. The choice of the finely woven canvas onto which the fresco was transferred was not the best one due to the bad properties of the canvas. It was probably due to this reason that the painting of the allegoric female figures from the ceiling was embedded in plaster on copper net after having been transferred. The size of the painting today is 162 x 238 cm. It was glued onto a roughly woven sackcloth and it was stretched onto a frame reinforced on the middle, with the possibility of additional stretching by the insertion of corner wedges. The stretcher was damaged in several places. The back side was coated with a thick layer
Right: Details of Mary's hair and angel's portrait.
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UV luminescence of the Annunciation.

of lithopone mixed with bone glue. This was done most likely to stabilise the fabric. The stretcher was crimped and hardened on its entire surface, with many depressions and uneven areas. The layer of the plaster was strongly fissured and the material compactness was weak. On big areas (e.g. on Marys cloths, on the area of a stain as big as a few palms, between two figures about a half square meter, along the cracks, etc.) the original plaster and the colour layer were completely missing. A prolonged joint is visible in the middle of the painting, on the side of the angel, proving that the fresco was removed in two parts and was connected again after detachment. In this area, the tones of the retouches applied during various interventions altered with time and the entire surface was dirty. The documentation comprising non-destructive analysis of the painting (by grazing light, UV luminescence and IR photography) and the results
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IR reflectography of the portraits.



of the laboratory analysis were the basis for defining the intervention methodology, the choice of materials used and technologies. The UV luminescence showed the existence of various restoration interventions, the presence of dirt and the extent of degradation of the conservation materials which were visible in different colour tones. According to historical documents, traces of 4 to 5 interventions could be identified. IR photography revealed the underdrawing and the various pigments that appeared in different characteristic colours and depths. The cross-sections of pigment and powder samples gave information about the visible layers of colours and plaster, the particle size of the pigments and their optical properties. It was assessed that the wall painting was detached with the plaster and that the original pigments were: - Natural lapis lazuli, found on Marys cloak and on the ribbon of the angels clothes. This pigment was spread in Europe mainly in medieval times, although it can sporadically be found also in baroque paintings. The use of this pigment suggests a rich sponsor as it was used only in small amounts and only in quality artworks.
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IR reflectography of some details of the Annunciation.

- Cinnabar, found on Marys clothes. This natural, mineral pigment was, according to Andrea Pozzo, a very popular colour, but unstable with lime. If the painting is under a roof, it is likely to be used, but it has to be adjusted for wall painting in this way: put the pigment dust into a ceramic container and pour over water which you use for slaking of the lime; strain it off and again add lime water and repeat this a few times. In this way the cinnabar connects with the properties of the lime and will never lose them. - Ferric red, on the angels cloak. This natural earthy pigment, ferric oxide, is named according to the locality where it is found. The colour changes according to the content of hydrides and anhydrides. Pozzo describes it as red ochre (Terra rossa), like other earthy colours, is great for fresco. It is used for flesh, drapery and also for others.


- Natural sienna, used for Marys hair. It is a special ochre, which is named after a well-known Tuscany city. By microscopic and chemical analysis it is ordered into the same group of pigments as ferric oxide. By Pozzo, it is used for shading of yellow draperies. - Yellow ochre, found on Marys lecture dais. It is a hydrate of ferric oxide with various composition. Pozzo defines it as light yellow ochre is the pigment with light yellow and dark yellow colour, which is found in the surroundings of Rome. The presence of ochre was also confirmed with UV due to its typical colour luminescence . Analysis of its additives (soil, silicates, etc.) explains the creation of the blisters and the detachment of the layer of ochre.
Detail of the back of the painting in grazing light.

- Green earth, used at the background behind the reading dais. A typical earthy pigment, it is mentioned by Pozzo as in fresco painting the only green colour for painting draperies is from Verona, because all other artificially made colours do not tolerate lime. We suppose that it was also used for obtaining the flesh tones. - White. Highlights were obviously made with lime, calcium carbonate. Different variations are known: chalk, lime, shell, egg shell, corals, etc. - Carbon black, pigment found in the layers of under painting and mixed in some colours, as wooden coal. After securing and injecting the detached layers of the plaster and colour, it was proceeded to the removal of the painting from the old stretcher frame. The detached creases of the canvas were impregnated with BEVA 371 which was also used to reinforce and stabilize the edges, by ironing strips of linen canvas onto the original canvas support.

Consolidation with Plextol B500 of Mary's plaster halo.

Thus, the painting was stretched onto a new, temporary support made-to-measure so that in its stretched state we could eliminate the characteristics that were improper to a fresco painting, mainly the unevenness of the surface, without the possible creasing of the canvas. While on horizontal position the painting was steamed and softened after a gradual stretching using the corner wedges, and it was weighted down with marble plates. This process was repeated a few times within one month.
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Flattening of the canvas around the edges and of the surface by the application of heavy weights.

The painting was altered by various conservation materials from the numerous interventions and retouched a few times. Cleaning was only possible by the application of poultices with ammonium carbonate and ammonium hydroxide. Selecton B mixed with diatomic soil1 was applied onto the painting surface on 2 3 dm2 and after a certain time the dirt was washed off with water. After cleaning it was possible to assess the real state of degradation and the extent of damages in proportion with the original parts, but also the richness and the fine harmony characteristic for the colour scheme of this painting.

Cleaning was proceeded by the consolidation of the powdering plaster and the correction of the deformed halos, which were pressed back into shape in wet state. The canvas detached from the plaster was consolidated from the back and secured on its position with Plextol B500 adhesive. The missing parts of the plaster were filled and the whole was reinforced with thin woven textile made of artificial threads. A project was developed for a new stretcher with reinforcement on the back and the possibility of stretching by inserting additional wedges. The

Cleaning of the painting by the application of poultices with Selecton B and diatomic soil (left) and aspect after cleaning (right).

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Above: Cleaning of the painting by the application of poultices with solvent. Below: Consolidation and backing of the edges with Beva 371 and stripes of new canvas. Integration of the missing areas was done by filling with mortar similar in grain and texture with the original.


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stretching of the painting was performed by applying strips of canvas with adhesive on the edges in order to strengthen them, edges that were then folded back and ironed onto the original canvas. The painting was then mounted onto the stretcher by hammering metal grommets and screws in doubled layer of canvas of the edges.

The aesthetical treatment started by filling the lacunas of the plaster in all those places where its stability required it. The mortar used was made of: 1 part of quartzite powder, 1 part of calcite powder, 1 part of kaolin, 3 parts of dolomite2, rabbit glue 7% and a little Plextol B500.
Aspect of the painting after transfer onto the new stretcher and cleaning of the surface.

Where possible, the missing parts were retouched for aesthetical purposes. From left to right: before conservation, after filling the lacuna and during retouching, and final aspect after reintegration by tratteggio.
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Detail after conservation-restoration. Angel (above) and portrait of Virgin Mary (below right).

The aesthetical approach was based on consulting with specialists and on the experience accumulated during one year treatment of the painting. We got to the conclusion that due to the unsatisfactory amount of information on the morphology of the original painting, the largest lacunas will not be reconstructed, these areas being better integrated into their surrounding by filling with neutral plaster. Smaller lacunas which could be surely retouched according to their surrounding context, were reconstructed for the sake of the aesthetical integrity. The architecture and interior furnishing surrounding the figures were represented without perspective, according to the style of the poque; after sketching the system of the composition, some of its parts could be reconstructed. The grazed parts were retouched only in those cases when their image was disturbing the reading of the painting.

Besides the preservation of the original material quality, our main goal was to re-establish of the authors original intent, returning the internal balance of the paintings aesthetical value that mediates the metaphysical message.
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Angel. Detail after conservation-restoration.

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Virgin Mary. Detail of the painting after restoration.

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The Annunciation after conservation-restoration treatment.

Bibliography 1. Fehr Ildik, About the Cycle of Alegoric Frescoes in Palazzo Isidoro in Perugia, Szpmvszeti Museum Bulletin, 92-93, 2001 2. Documentation made by Luigi Carattoli, Francesco Moretti and Matteo Tassi on 9th May 1889 after the visit in situ. 3. Andrea Pozzos citacions in Ernst Berger, Fresko-und Sgraffito-Technik: Nach lteren und neueren Quellen, Munich, 1909. Pigment analysis by va Galambos Notes
1 Dolomite is a mineral crystallising in trigonometric struc-

Conservator-restorer Contact: Ildik Jeszeniczky is a conservator-restorer of paintings. She obtained her degree in conservation at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts (Magyar Kpzmvszeti Egyetem) in 1989. She also has considerable experience in the conservation and restoration of mural paintings and easel paintings of historical monuments in Budapest and Hungary. She works at the Szpmvszeti Mzeum (Museum of Fine Arts) in Budapest since 1991, where she is involved in the conservation of pannel paintings and detached frescoes. In 2008 she was attributed for her work the Mihly Munkcsy Award, highly regarded in Hungary.

ture, chemically calcium magnesium carbonate CaMg(CO3)2

2 The diatomic soil (diatomit) is an organic product used in

restoration as poultices base for solvents due to its high bearing capacity. Composition: amorphous material 55-75%, montmorillonite 15-30%, kaolinit 0-5%, quartz 0-3%, felspar 0-4%. It is a white greyish porous sediment with high porosity and specific bearing capacity.
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No. 16, October 2010 LICENCE ISSN: 1646-9283 Registration Number Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5
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Detail from the detached mural painting The Annunciation by Cola Petruccioli (1380), Szpmvszeti Museum, Hungary. Photo by Ildik Jeszeniczky

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