Conservation of Assyrian reliefs at the Brooklyn Museum

Tina March, Lisa Bruno, Hiroko Kariya, Won Ng, Ellen Pearlstein, and Helen Stockman (Amélie Drewdun)

Abstract

Conservation of six monumental alabaster reliefs, four broken and two intact, weighing up to 3500 lbs. each, was carried out at the Brooklyn Museum after previous repairs and installation methods failed while they were being moved. The surfaces of all six reliefs were steam cleaned, followed by drying with acetone and ethanol. Cement from a former repair was removed mechanically from the surface with scalpels. The four broken reliefs were disassembled, cleaned of plaster repairs, and reassembled using epoxy. To stabilize the four broken reliefs during movement and reinstallation, a steel mount was attached to the back using bolts. The reliefs were installed in the galleries using a wall cleat with bolts or a turnbuckle system. Small chips of stone were reattached using B-72 in acetone. Ghosting from fill materials remaining on the surface and disfiguring scratches were toned with Liquitex acrylic emulsion paints. The joins were left unfilled.

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