Chapter Fourteen

 

The Final Touch

 

Well, the job is done.

The item has been cleaned, stabilized, repaired and rehoused.

It has gone from this in 1913:

Photograph taken in 1913

To this in 2011:

Item before treatment

And this in 2012:

Item after treatment

The treatment that eventually unfolded was different to that which was proposed. This is often the case as the fragility and nature of the item becomes more apparent after thorough examination and documentation.

It is also the nature of the Conservation profession to seek to stabilize an item in its current form to enable the evidence of the item’s life to still be apparent to the viewer. We are not trying to take something back to “as new” condition.

The item has now been placed in cold storage (10oC) to slow down any inherent deterioration. It is being stored flat (not folded even though it is nearly 2.5m long) and horizontal in a thick acid-free folder so that it is fully supported all over, and the brittle paper does not have to support its own weight.

Our work will ensure that all Australians will be able to view and appreciate the item for decades to come.

November 2012