Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Limestone Eagle Sculpture

by conservation

2/15/2018

behind the scenes , conservation , sculpture

This limestone sculpture of an eagle and serpent dates from 50-150 CE and is from the Nabataean Temple Khirbet et-Tannur in Jordan. The heavy stone sculpture is unstable and requires conservation before it is ready for display. It has numerous old repairs that are beginning to fail, and its stone surface is also crumbly in areas resulting in loss of surface detail. Right now the sculpture is in a solvent atmosphere, a chamber where the air is saturated with a solvent that dissolves the old adhesive. Once the old adhesive is removed the surface will be cleaned and consolidated. The old repairs will be removed and replaced with more stable adhesive to hold the sculpture together and the areas of crumbling surface stone will be consolidated to prevent further loss.