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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Where the Lion Roams

by Conservation

9/17/2015

conservation , behind the scenes , antiquities , Classical Art , installation , object conservation

This Lion Funerary Monument, dating from around 350 BC, was installed in our new antiquities gallery this week.  Moving the lion, which weighs over 1,700lbs, required extensive planning and the collaboration between our conservation and installation departments, as well as help from our friends at Fenton Rigging. To support the weight of the lion, a gantry was used to raise it up from its old low platform (at left) to its new platform at a height of 4ft! Though the lion is a complete sculpture, it had been broken into multiple pieces during ancient times. The old fractures were repaired during a conservation treatment in 1989, but the joins remain fragile and are not able to withstand the 1,700lbs of pressure when the lion is suspended. In order to prevent stress on the repairs, multiple straps  were used to rig the lion to the gantry, distributing the weight evenly to avoid any one area receiving too much pressure. The lion made it safely through the move and is now looking better than ever in its prominent position in our new Antiquities Gallery (G102), scheduled to open in just a few weeks