NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES
High level cleaning and maintenance at the Ashmolean
By Tim Crowley, Art Technician at the Ashmolean
While the Museum has been closed, our technician Tim has been taking advantage of the quiet galleries to do some rather unconventional cleaning and maintenance. In this week’s story, find out how he’s been caring for our collections behind the scenes and helping us to prepare for reopening.
Although it may seem quite romantic (or slightly disconcerting) that there is a little bit of you left behind when you visit, sadly, we need to remove it.
This delicious organic mix is a great meal for museum pests who will dine out on this dust and possibly stay to feed on the actual object itself. This dust can also spoil the appearance of objects, and if left for too long, can be very difficult to remove. So, with the doors closed over lockdown we have taken the chance to do a little bit of non-invasive housekeeping.
Why don't we clean like this all the time? Well, excessive cleaning can be just as damaging to an object's integrity as under-cleaning. We therefore work to a strict conservation schedule to prevent us from accidentally cleaning away a bit of history.