Conserving the Drunken Satyr at the Getty Villa

We’re all super excited to actually
receive the piece, and of course the fact that all the due diligence and work
that we put into it, to getting it here safely, to finally have the confirmation
that it did arrive intact and without issue.
Now we’re stepping into doing a full documentation of what we can interpret
from the piece from the exterior, from the surface using magnification, using
different types of light sources on, basically, the light spectrum, from
ultraviolet infrared to raking light, to try to understand as much as we can the
physical history that’s present and interpretable. And currently we’re
actually X-raying the piece so we can actually see through it, to try to reveal the types
of joins so that we can understand the ancient manufacture, the alteration
during burial, and then of course historic restorations to try to,
basically—it sounds a little little silly—but to sort of excavate this
piece theoretically, to try to understand all the different strata that are there
and to understand what they may belong or pertain to, and what influences the
other. And this is proceeding a more diagnostic analysis.
Right now we’re in the process of trying to, again, understand the history so we
can better target, better refine the questions we’re asking of the piece,
better target the analysis that we’ll be doing. Starting with non-destructive to
understand the surface, to understand the different materials that are present, and
then from there potentially to then take specific samples—what would be
a little bit more of an invasive technique—to then to try to fully
understand questions related to antiquity as well as the history of the
piece. And then specifically for conservation: What are the issues here?
And how can we resolve them to preserve this piece in perpetuity, but with as
little alteration as possible?

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