Disaster Response Policy and Procedures for SC Mall Sculptures

Prepared by: Paul Storch
Senior Objects Conservator
Minnesota Historical Society

Developed in 1994 and distributed to MN State Capitol Security and Plant Management.
Revised November, 2005

  1. Response:
    1. The discoverer of the vandalism should contact the Capitol Security Dispatcher, who will then contact the State Capitol Site Manager (MHS). If The Site Manager is not available, contact the Senior Objects Conservator and the Head of Conservation, if the Senior Objects Conservator is not available.
    2. The area should be roped off as soon as possible. Determination should be made as to whether it is a crime scene, and if it is, the St. Paul Police Department should be called.

      The first response of the State Plant Management will be limited to wicking up any paint in order to prevent it from dripping onto other surfaces and from seeping into joints. No attempt should be made to remove the paint.

    3. If an outside cleaning contractor is called in before the MHS conservation staff can arrive for a complete assessment of the situation, they must wait. The MHS conservator who responds to the call will determine the extent of the damage and the current condition of the object and will recommend the cleaning procedure to be followed. The conservator will supply any cleaning solutions that will be used. The conservator will determine if high pressure water cleaning is applicable to the problem. Commercial cleaners and degreasers such as C&H 744 Degreaser will not be used.
  2. Cleaning Methods:
    1. The specific cleaning procedure will vary depending on the nature of the paint binder, and the nature and condition of the object surface.
    2. Water should be made available by State Plant Management staff responding to the call in order to clean water soluble latex-based paints.
    3. Oil-based paints will be cleaned with solvents or other cleaners. These are to be determined by MHS conservation staff.
    4. Containers for waste rags and other expendable cleaning materials should be provided by the State Plant Management staff and be removed immediately from the site after the cleaning is finished.
    5. After the cleaning is completed, the MHS conservation staff will determine what applicable follow-up procedures need to be done.
    6. The damage and subsequent clean-up and treatments will be documented in writing and by photographs by MHS Conservation Staff and will become part of the MHS conservation documentation for the affected sculpture or monument. Any other applicable documentation generated by other state agencies and/or outside contractors will also become part of those records.

Staff to Call:

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