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The Science behind the Scenes at the Museum

Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November 2012
This weekend of talks, film screenings and events celebrates the museum conservator’s work. We have invited our conservators to come out from behind the scenes and we invite you to come and meet them to hear some of their fascinating stories about the conservation of objects as varied as the Asgard yacht, a medieval book shrine, a Bronze Age food vessel, a Mesolithic fish trap and an Indian curved sword.

Every object that ends up in the Museum has had a journey before it got here, and some of these can be out of the ordinary. For example, an object might have been dug up from a bog or rescued from an attic. It might have been discovered on the bed of a lake or handed down through a family for generations. And while some objects in the Museum are acquired in less exciting circumstances, for example, bought at auction, whatever its journey, before any object goes on public display at the Museum, it must be assessed by a Museum conservator.

According to the Museum’s Head of Conservation, Rolly Read, “The conservation process ensures that every object is stable and protected. From carefully treating, cleaning, and recording an object, to helping to determine how old an object is, a conservator’s work is never straightforward!”

Dublin City of Science 2012 Curator, Vincent McCarthy, said “Dublin City of Science 2012 has brought together for the first time a community of cultural institutions, organisations and individuals who are passionate about showcasing the best of Irish culture, arts and science. The National Museum of Ireland has been an integral and exciting part of our quest to ignite curiosity during our year-long festival of science. Experiencing the science behind the scenes at the Museum is a wonderful and rare opportunity, and not to be missed. We hope you can join us there.”

This weekend of events is supported by the Dublin City of Science 2012 Festival.

All welcome, admission free.

For further press information please contact:

Helen Beaumont, Education Officer, Education and Outreach Department, National Museum of Ireland Tel. 01 6486 405, Mob. 087 2373192

Notes to Editor

• This weekend of events is part of the programme for Dublin City of Science 2012. The DUBLIN CITY OF SCIENCE 2012 festival is a year-long celebration of science that brings together a community of cultural institutions, organisations and individuals to showcase the best of Irish culture, arts and science.

Saturday 17th November Programme

• The programme of free public talks on Saturday includes one given by conservator John Kearon, on the conservation project on the historic and remarkable Asgard yacht, now on public display at Collins Barracks.

• Museum conservators will be talking about the conservation of objects as varied as a Bronze Age food vessel, an early medieval 8th century book shrine, a Mesolithic fish trap and an Indian curved sword.

• Following the public talks there will be film screenings of the following documentaries:

Treasure from the Bog

A documentary about The Fadden More Psalter - a unique archaeological find from County Tipperary which revealed potential links between Irish Christianity and the Coptic Church of the Middle East.

Bog Bodies

The bodies of 'Old Croghan Man' and 'Clonycavan Man' were preserved for 2300 years in an Irish peat bog and discovered within weeks of one another. During investigation and conservation at the National Museum, evidence revealed much about their diet, social status and even hairstyle.

• There will also be a screening of a newly made film about the Museum’s Conservation Department, ‘Behind the Scenes: A Tour of the Conservation Studios’, which gives visitors a chance to see some of the work that takes place in the studios and introduce some of the people who work as conservators in the Museum.

Sunday 18th November Programme

• The Sunday programme has a family focus and there’s a free storytelling performance – Seanchaí bringing Science to Kids, where storytellers and scientists bring the enchantment of scientific discovery to children in a lively and well-grounded show.

• Families can explore the ‘Soldiers and Chiefs’ exhibition using a conservation trail through the exhibition and find out how Museum conservators stop things like light, humidity, heat and even bugs from damaging the objects on display.

FULL PROGRAMME

The Science Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Saturday 17th November 2012

VENUE: ASGARD EXHIBITION

10.30am

Welcome

Rolly Read, Head of Conservation, National Museum of Ireland

10.40am

Asgard : Nail Sickness - an ancient scourge in a new light

John Kearon, Project Manager and Lead Conservator, Asgard Conservation Project

VENUE: AV LECTURE THEATRE

11.30am

The Conservation of the Lough Kinale Book Shrine

Dr Paul Mullarkey, Assistant Keeper, Conservation Department, National Museum of Ireland

12.00pm

Clowanstown fish traps – a short trawl through the conservation treatment of Mesolithic basketry

Kasia Bernaciak, Archaeological Conservator

12.15pm

The laser cleaning of a Bronze Age Food Vessel

Lorna Barnes, Glass, Ceramic and Stone conservator, National Museum of Ireland

12.30pm

“Two tubs of elbow grease please…” Mechanical Cleaning of Applied Arts Objects

Hannah Power, Applied Arts Conservator, National Museum of Ireland

12.45pm

Question and Answer session

1.00pm

Launch and screening of new short film - Behind the Scenes: A Tour of the Conservation Studios

FILM SCREENINGS IN AV LECTURE THEATRE

2.15pm

Behind the Scenes: A Tour of the Conservation Studios

A short film about the public tour of the conservation studios, introducing the Museum conservators and their work.

2.30pm

Treasure from the Bog

A documentary about The Faddan More Psalter, a unique archaeological find

from County Tipperary which revealed potential links between Irish Christianity

and the Coptic Church of the Middle East.

3.30pm

Bog Bodies

The bodies of ‘Old Croghan Man’ and ‘Clonycavan Man’ were preserved for 2,300 years in an Irish peat bog and discovered within weeks of one another. During investigation and conservation at the National Museum, evidence revealed much about their diet, social status and even hairstyle.

Sunday 18th November 2012

FILM SCREENINGS IN AV LECTURE THEATRE

2.15pm

Behind the Scenes: A Tour of the Conservation Studios

2.30pm

Treasure from the Bog

3.30pm

Bog Bodies

See film details in Saturday programme.

PERFORMANCE IN PALATINE ROOM

3.00pm

Seanchaí bringing Science to Kids

Storytellers and scientists bring the enchantment of scientific discovery to children in a lively and well-grounded show. The performance is followed by interactive experiments linked to the story. With University College Cork and Dublin's Story-O group.

Admission free but advance booking essential. To book a place contact the bookings office.

4.00pm

Saving History Family Trail

Explore the Museum finding out about how conservation works in the exhibitions, keeping objects safe from too much light, heat, moisture and even bugs! Booking essential. To book a place contact the bookings office


 
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