HL Deb 19 December 1991 vol 533 cc82-3WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

From whom the trustees of the Natural History Museum obtained advice before cleaning the terracotta panels inside the gallery, using a technique that has apparently damaged the "skin" of the terracotta.

Viscount Astor

The Natural History Museum obtained specialist advice about the most effective manner of cleaning terracotta panels. In May this year samples of terracotta cleaned by four different methods were examined by Cecil Rhodes, Conservation and Stone Surveyor with Andrews, Kent and Stone Investigation and Test Services. The fourth sample, which produced good results, had been cleaned using the new microparticle restoration system. This system has been used to clean the terracotta panels in the Bird Gallery and has produced successful results. In cases where there is surface degradation caused by previous damage to the terracotta or suspect firing, the museum replaces the damaged area with new matching terracotta blocks.