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BRITARCH-NEWS  November 2002

BRITARCH-NEWS November 2002

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Subject:

Conservation Awards - Super-Sub scores a winner

From:

Jonathan Bateman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jonathan Bateman <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 13 Nov 2002 10:50:56 -0000

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From: Emma Wright [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 13 November 2002 00:34

For Immediate Release
12 November 2002

Super-Sub scores a winner

1901 submarine wins top conservation award and highlights UK's conservation excellence


A project to restore the Royal Navy's first submarine, Holland 1 - which first set sail in 1901 and lay on the seabed for 69 years - has won the UK's premier conservation prize. In a ceremony at the British Library tonight, conservator Ian Clark and the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport were awarded the Pilgrim Trust Award for Conservation 2002 for their work in 'placing conservation at the very heart of the museum'.

The submarine museum rose to the top of a very strong shortlist that included entries from the National Trust, the Wallace Collection and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. The award judges considered how the entrants used their scientific, technological, aesthetic and historical knowledge to conserve materials and reveal their significance to a wide audience.  

Holland I's conservation story began following her salvage in 1982. At that point the submarine was cleaned, treated with an anti-corrosion chemicals and put on display at the Museum. But by 1993 she was suffering from rampant corrosion and repainting proved futile. The anti-corrosion treatment had failed and a new solution was needed.

Led by conservator Ian Clark, the Museum built a giant glassfibre tank in 1994 to enclose the submarine, and filled it with 800,000 litres of sodium carbonate. Soaking the submarine in this way would remove the chloride ions that were the cause of the uncontrollable corrosion. In December 1998, the soaking tank was drained down and final tests carried out. Chloride levels were now found to be extremely low - the treatment had worked. 

A specially humidity-controlled gallery was also built to display the submarine. When visitors enter the new gallery they breathe moisture into the dry atmosphere, which if it were allowed to build up could stimulate more corrosion. The gallery has been equipped with a powerful dehumidification system that keeps the humidity below 40% relative humidity - this low level of humidity prevents moisture from setting off the corrosion cycle.

Three further presentations were also made at the ceremony. Kathryn Hallett won the Student Conservator of the Year Award. Her innovative project at the British Museum showed that traditionally dim lighting levels in museums could be increased without harming ethnographic exhibits. Her findings will be of relevance to museums across the UK.

The Anna Plowden Award for Research and Innovation in Conservation was awarded jointly to Dr Andrew Calver of the Museum of London and Dr Lorraine Gibson of the University of Strathclyde. They received the prize for the development of a cost-effective technique for measuring air exchange rates of display cases and storage enclosures.

The ceremony also saw the presentation of a new conservation award open to members of the United Kingdom Institute of Conservation. Evening Standard art critic Brian Sewell handed Kenneth Watt of West Dean College the inaugural Nigel Williams Prize for ceramics and glass conservation. Kenneth received a trophy replica of the Portland Vase, donated by Wedgwood, for his lifetime achievement in this field.

Loyd Grossman, chair of the judging panel, broadcaster and member of the board of Resource, said, "Among an outstanding 2002 shortlist this amazing submarine project stands out.  It has everything: a fascinating story, pivotal to British naval prowess; a bold conservation procedure, based on sound scientific principles and carried out on an unprecedented scale; and a stunning display which brings the visitor a memorable experience.  Everybody should go and see it! We warmly congratulate conservator Ian Clark and the Royal Navy Submarine Museum on their tremendous achievement."

The Pilgrims Trust Conservation Awards are the UK's premier scheme to reward excellence in preserving our heritage - open to conservators for completed projects on individual artefacts, museum collections, historic buildings and library and archival treasures. 
Among the 11 short-listed candidates was the Wallace Collection's entry focusing on the conservation of an 18th-century writing-desk - one of the jewels of its collections - restored using novel techniques to re-apply its marquetry and clean its surface. The restoration of historic wallpaper and paintwork at Nostell Priory in West Yorkshire - and the installation of environmental monitoring systems using computer technology and 5 miles of cabling - formed key parts of the National Trust's shortlisted entry.

The Award for Conservation carried a prize of 15,000. The Student Conservator of the Year Award nets a prize of 10,000 (5,000 each for the student and their training institution), and the Anna Plowden Trust Award winner received a prize of 2000.
Sponsored by the Pilgrim Trust, the Awards are also supported by key organisations in conservation and restoration - English Heritage, the National Preservation Office (based at the British Library), Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries and the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation. The Award for Research and Innovation is sponsored by the Anna Plowden Trust.

For further information and images please contact Colin Beesley at the British Library Press Office, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 7BQ. Telephone 01937 546825, fax 01937 546571, email [log in to unmask]

THE FULL PRESS RELEASE INCLUDING ALL THE SHORTLISTED PROJECTS IS AVAILABLE ON THE RESOURCE WEBSITE AT www.resource.gov.uk

52/02



Emma Wright
Media and Events Manager
Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries
16 Queen Anne's Gate
London  SW1H 9AA
Direct line 020 7273 1459
Switchboard 020 7273 1444
Email: [log in to unmask]
Website: www.resource.gov.uk
Join the Resourcenews email list at http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/resourcenews.html


The information contained in this e-mail and any attachments is confidential.   If you have received it in error, you are on notice of its status.   It is intended solely for the addressee.   Any unauthorised use is strictly prohibited.  If you are not the intended recipient please notify the sender immediately and delete the email and any attachments from the system.

Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries
16 Queen Anne's Gate
London
SW1H 9AA

Tel 02072731444

Website: http://www.resource.gov.uk

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