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Conservation chemistry book brought to life by new museum

Henry VIII’s flag, the Mary Rose, has had a new museum open in Portsmouth today. The ship that sank in 1545 was discovered in 1971, and finally raised from the seabed in 1982 watched live on television in front of an estimated 60 million people worldwide.  

The ship has been reconstructed just yards from where it was originally built. After resurfacing from the depths of The Solent, it was sprayed with water continuously until 1994 and then polyethylene glycol, a type of wax, in order to help preserve it. It will take 4 years to dry using air tubes in a ‘hot box’. Until then, the public will be able to view the wreck through windows.
In 2004, the RSC teamed up with the Mary Rose Trust, V&A Museum and the British Museum to produce the book Conservation chemistry – an introduction. The book is in three sections; each one led by a museum and discusses the chemistry behind the conservation of wood, plastics and stone, respectively. These sections can each be found on Learn Chemistry or purchased as the whole book from our bookstore.

The book shows how chemical techniques are used in conserving objects made from a wide variety of materials and seeks to introduce some of the ethical considerations of conservation to students. We hope this book will encourage teachers and students alike to see the chemical context of the most unlikely scenarios.
Posted by Alexandra Kersting on May 30, 2013 10:44 AM Europe/London

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