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Subject: Parchment


From: Rebecca A. Rushfield <wittert>
Date: Friday, October 2, 1998
In his reply to Ilias Kastritis, Mr. Thompson used as an
illustration of the dangers of having untrained people treat
valuable objects, the example given by Zoe Ginni of a retired Indian
engineer who went to the Ukraine to teach the local Jewish
population how to restore damaged Torah scrolls. Mr. Thompson stated
that "apparently (he) learned what he felt was needful during the 8
years following his retirement". I have several thoughts on Mr.
Thompson's remarks. If that engineer spent eight full years studying
the restoration of parchment scrolls, he would have spent twice as
long as the average graduate student of conservation does.  Do we
know that the engineer was just dabbling? Perhaps he was studying
with a master? That aside, because Torah scrolls are sacred objects,
they must be treated in a certain way by certain people or they
become invalid for use.  Therefore the "rules of conservation" do
not apply and Mr. Thompson might well choose a different horror
story to illustrate his point. Many of the treatments used by
conservators for parchment will do just that.

Rebecca Anne Rushfield

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:34
                 Distributed: Saturday, October 3, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-34-008
Received on Friday, 2 October, 1998

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