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Subject: Animation cels

Animation cels

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Saturday, May 16, 1998
Anne Coco <acoco [at] oscars__org> writes

>We have come across a stash of animation cels (between 50 and
>100 items) dating from 1938-1941.  We do not believe the celluloid
>material to be nitrate.  At some point, someone separated the cels with
>a tissue paper which has become fixed to the areas which hold paint.
>The tissue paper is pulling the celluloid causing it to buckle (not
>badly, but obviously).  Our plan at this point is to leave the items as
>is (tissue paper intact), photograph them for reference and store the
>originals in our cold storage vault.  Is this the correct protocol?

The cels are likely to be cellulose acetate. You are right to not
try and remove the paper from the painted areas as the paint will
most likely detach and can only be reattached with great difficulty.
Under certain circumstances removal of such adherent materials can
be affected without damage to the paint, but must be done by a
trained conservator.  Your concern over the paper is well taken and
depending on the type of paper, its degradation properties and
interaction with the cel and paint would be well advised to call in
a conservator with experience treating cels, long term damage may
occur if they are left untreated.

Niccolo Caldararo
Director and Chief Conservator
Conservation Art Service

                  Conservation DistList Instance 11:94
                   Distributed: Tuesday, May 19, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-11-94-005
Received on Saturday, 16 May, 1998

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