ITP Diary 19th August 2014: Alaa Bakeer
Hope you are all fine…
Today Tuesday 19th of August 2014; is a very interesting day in the ITP. In the morning after we met ITP team at the information desk at the British Museum we headed to the WCEC which is a new building in the BM, we started the day with an introduction to conservation and science by MR. David Saunders whom is the Head of Conservation and scientific research.
Then we splitted into groups. Our group was under the leadership of Duygu Camurcuoglu, we headed first to Stone wall painting and mosaic studio where we met Michael whom gave us an introduction about their work and the equipment’s they use, like the Internal extraction which is a device used for cleaning stone dust and another one in grey color used for solvents.
After that we went to western art and paper studio and met Jenny whom gave us a briefly overview of what the team in this studio are doing, then we went to general tour in the studio where we first met Jude whom showed us some examples of papers, and some tools which is used in paper surface cleaning like sponge to clean the dust around the edges and certain kind of rubbers to remove the adhesive, then turned to Helen whom told us about the nature of papyrus and how the papyrus paper made and a lot of other information.
Then we met Ms. Monica the head of organic studio, she gave us a general look at the studio area and showed us the rooms around and what each of them is used for, such as; the spray room and organic object conservation laboratory and others.
Then we went to Ceramics and Metals conservation studio and took a tour in it and had a lot of stops with each of the team, to show us what he/she is working on, and finally but not least we got into an area for different functional rooms.
We had then a wonderful lunch with the CSR stuff in the Hartwell room.
After finishing we went again to the WCEC to attend our organized visits to scientific research laboratories that ended by a visit to organic analysis room.
I’m really impressed by our sessions and visits today, a lot of information have been collected, a lot of devices equipment and materials have been seen, a lot of wonderful people have been met and although I’m a curator and not a specialist in conservation but I have learnt a lot of information about the nature of conservation to be able to give the conservator the work he needs from me as a curator, and to be more careful with the objects and their preservation which primarily I’m concerned about.
At the end of the day we took an official photo for 2014 ITP participants with Mr. Neil MacGregor the director of BM and Mrs. Claire Messenger the ITP manager and with other wonderful ITP team.
Finally, I’m really thankful to all the ITP team, the organizers and lecturers for their great efforts which I appreciate a lot, hope this year will be the most distinctive one.
Alaa Ahmed Bakeer, Curator at Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, Egypt