The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 24, Number 1

Recent Preservation-Related Events

drawn to our attention recently by Edward Adcock, Editor of Paper Conservation News


Please Bow Your Heads

The Editor asks IPC members to observe a minute's silence for the two Sotheby's porters who mistook a Lucian Freud picture for packaging and so put it in a crushing machine and sent it to the tip.

For the numerous copies of Nicolaus Copernicus's treatise De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, which have been stolen from collections across the world.

For the way library and archive material, museum artefacts, photographs and works of art, etc., have been mishandled in recent BBC television programmes. In particular the series on public records, Breaking the Seal, which was deplorable for the way archive material was mishandled. I imagine the conservators in the institutions represented were restrained on leashes. The Antiques Roadshow had always been notorious for its horrifying handling practices and has conservators all over the country squirming on the sofa, hiding behind cushions, reaching for the remote or even shouting at the television for the way items are handled. However, the way a presenter continuously prodded one of the last photographs taken of the Russian Royal Family before they were murdered, was inexcusable. These programmes could do our profession a huge service if they were to make a point of handling material correctly. (The Editor has e-mailed the British Broadcasting Corporation with these suggestions—it would help if other IPC members did the same.)

Please Raise a Glass

The Editor asks IPC members to raise a glass to Winchester Cathedral for the way the Winchester Bible was properly supported on Clarkson foam supports in Janet Street Porter's excellent series Cathedral Calls.

To the person responsible for writing the book section on the BBC web pages Looking after your antiques, which starts with "...the deterioration of books is a great cultural loss representing the disappearance of both knowledge and history. Over the past century our written heritage has suffered immensely from unsuitable storage, central heating, adverse environmental conditions, careless handling, all leading to broken bindings, mould growth and the deterioration of the materials from which books are constructed."

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