Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hull museum's Roman mosaics gets specialist makeover

Hull museum's Roman mosaics gets specialist makeover | This is Hull and East Riding
http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/story-14179983-detail/story.html

CLEANING floor tiles can be a pretty mundane household chore.

But when they happen to be part of a stunning collection of Roman mosaics, the job takes on a whole new meaning.

  1. BRINGING OUT THE COLOUR: From left, Caroline Rhodes, collection curator, and Paula Gentil, museum curator, with some of the mosaics. Pictures: Kate Woolhouse

  2. PRICELESS EXHIBITS: Roman mosaics at Hull And East Riding Museum, High Street, Hull, have been cleaned.

    PRICELESS EXHIBITS: Roman mosaics at Hull And East Riding Museum, High Street, Hull, have been cleaned

Museum staff in Hull have just finished a specialist makeover of their priceless exhibits in the Hull And East Riding Museum, in High Street.

Paula Gentil, the museum's curator of archaeology, said the careful clean-up was long overdue.

"We think the main Horkstow Mosaic was last cleaned about seven years ago," she said.

"It was starting to look a bit scruffy and in need of some tender loving care.

"We had to be very careful because it includes original Roman mortar holding it all together and we didn't want to wash that away by using too much water.

"Most visitors probably won't notice the difference, but the cleaning has really brought up some of the colours."

She said collection of Roman mosaics remained one of the most popular attractions at the museum.

"Because the Romans are part of the curriculum, we get a lot of school parties coming to visit and the mosaics are a big draw.

"Unfortunately, because of that, we also get a lot of things getting dropped on them, from bits of pencil to chewing gum," she said.

Collections curator Caroline Rhodes said: "We tried to get most of the cleaning done in a morning before the museum opened, but sometimes visitors would wander past and call out: 'you've missed a bit!'

"There were a lot of individual tiles to clean, but I don't think we did miss any out in the end."