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Subject: Last Supper

Last Supper

From: Janet W. Hessling <hessling>
Date: Friday, May 28, 1999
Did fellow correspondents' local newspapers run an annoying feature
recently about the unveiling of Leonardo's Last Supper?  The caption
for a small front page photo in the Friday, May 28 Raleigh, NC News
and Observer (from the Associated Press) says the work "took 22
years and drew many critics." As described in the before ("1982")
and after ("today") photo captions on an inside page, "Leonardo da
Vinci's grease- and grime-blackened masterpiece is no more.  After
years of scrubbing and scraping (sic), Italy unveiled "The Last
Supper in its new lighter and brighter form."  The caption includes
comments from Pinin Brambilla Barcilon, who has overseen the work,
and James Beck.  It is said there's no such thing as bad publicity,
but this sort of thing really makes me mad.  A detailed technical
report of the treatment is not appropriate in this popular press
context, but I don't think "scrubbing and scraping" is an accurate
description of the years of research and decades of work put into
this project, or indeed into any conservation project.  This sort of
thing emphasises the need for AIC, conservation agencies, museums,
and individual conservators to generate accurate and understandable
positive information, and get it out there to the media and to
clients and the public directly.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:92
                   Distributed: Friday, May 28, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-92-004
Received on Friday, 28 May, 1999

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