Friday, March 02, 2007

Don't sink the boat
Ever since its discovery in 1954, the magnificent 4,600-year-old wooden funerary barge of Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid, has been kept in poorly managed conditions. Its progressive deterioration has been calamitous. At long last, however, the responsibility of preparing a condition and conservation report on the vessel has been handed to Hani Hanna, chair of the International Conference on Heritage of the Naqada and Qus region, Egypt 2007.

. . .

The list seemed endless, and eyebrows were raised when Hanna told his audience at the international conference that extensive damage had also resulted from defective former restorations, and the metamorphosis of consolidation, coating and restoration materials. Much to everyone's astonishment, he added: "there are several oil paint spots resulting from the painting of the interior of the museum building."

Just goes to show, it's tough to preserve something better than it had been for 3,000 years.