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Subject: Paintings on asbestos millboard

Paintings on asbestos millboard

From: Laurent Sozzani <l.sozzani<-a>
Date: Thursday, May 1, 2014
I do like and appreciate M. Rossol's great contribution regarding
health and safety (see Conservation DistList Instance: 27:42
Wednesday, April 30, 2014) but when we live in a world that allows
antique violin bows, flutes and other objects to be destroyed at the
whim of customs officers because of a small bit of ivory they may
(or may not contain as it is often bone!) or the recently reported
shortage of W&N #7 water-colour brushes because sable furs are now
restricted entry into the US, whereas, Kolinsky sable brushes are
made from weasel hairs, which are not a restricted species, you best
deal with the paintings yourself without involvement of any
government or other official body.

At the Rijksmuseum there were a few paintings from the 1930's also
on asbestos.  These were simply sealed in plastic while remaining in
storage with a plan to eventually glaze and seal them into frames
for storage and/or any subsequent display.  Any exposed or friable
edges can first be locally sealed with a resin appropriate for the

Many buildings contain a lot of asbestos and it is acceptable where
sealed, usually found to be painted and left in place.  The main
dangers arise with removal or other potential dust creating activity
such as drilling or cutting.  There are also different types of
asbestos, some which are more dangerous and some considered much
less so.  It seems better to be careful rather than being too

The crisis that closed the Rijksmuseum prematurely before the
recently completed renovation was not simply the result of the
presence of asbestos, but rather that during a 'routine'
inventorying of all the asbestos in the building that would need to
be removed during renovation asbestos blankets used for particulate
filtration were discovered in some older air ducts.  Knowledge of
this in a public building could have lead to the risk of subsequent
litigation.  But even there the amount found in the building that
lead to the closure was at a much lower concentration than that in
the street outside.

Laurent Sozzani and
Eneida Parreira
Painting Conservation and Restoration
Nicolaas Maes Strt 22-2
1071 RA Amsterdam The Netherlands
31 20 6711905
Mobile: +31 652881796

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:43
                    Distributed: Sunday, May 4, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-27-43-003
Received on Thursday, 1 May, 2014

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