Search

Conservation in Action: Juno, Plans for further examination and conservation, April 2012

Relocation and conservation of a Roman sculpture of the goddess Juno, early second century A.D.:
April 2012, Plans for further examination and conservation

Over the coming months, the Objects Conservation and Scientific Research Labs will focus on treatment and further examination of both the head and body.

Examination:

  • Samples removed from the head and body will be analyzed by stable isotope analysis in order to obtain proper identification of the marble. The data received may reveal from which ancient quarries the marble originat ed.
  • A cast will be taken of tool marks on the top of the neck and will be studied by microscopy in an attempt to identify the tools used to point the surface .
  • Old repair materials removed from the neck, which include a number of modern and historic materials, will be identified.
  • A metallic cross section from the iron pin will be examined to study the micro structure of the metal and determine its composition.

Conservators hope that the sum of data gathered will provide insights that may help to identify the time period during which the head was attached .

Treatment:

  • The marble surface will be cleaned with an aqueous solution to remove dirt and biological growth .
  • Unstable cracks may require further consolidation .
  • Previous repairs, such as additions of lost elements and fills of cracks, will be evaluated with the curator and may require removal or replacement.
  • The distracting pink-orange stain at the lower portion of the marble requires masking (see below).
  • The head will be repositioned onto the torso. To help visualize proper positioning, the head and the top of the neck on the sculpture may be molded and cast in a lightweight material to allow their physical manipulation at eye level in preparation for the final work, which will take place at a height of 15 feet.

(In order to identify the cause of the prominent pink-orange stain, polished cross sections were prepared from marble samples removed from the underside of the base. Examination of these sections in a scanning electron microscope revealed the presence of a lead compound between the grains of the marble. More than 100 years ago, leaden shims were used underneath the sculpture at the Brandegee Estate to steady the sculpture. Over time, a red-colored lead compound formed and migrated into the marble.)

See next update.