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The British Museum’s new state-of-the-art World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre
Alice Fishburn, writing in the Financial Times, reports on the British Museum’s new state-of-the-art Conservation and Exhibitions Centre –
The improbably large centre, slotted between classical buildings, resituates conservation at the heart of the museum. It also unites a team that was previously spread out across London, housing scientists, stone experts, organic specialists and more under one roof. “We’ve got two studios next to each other that used to be 5km apart  . . . Over a cup of tea people bounce ideas off each other and it’s brilliant. Everything they say about open plan is true,” says David Saunders, keeper of the department of conservation and scientific research.
Inside the stone conservation studio, staffers are still blinking in their newly acquired daylight. “That’s the one thing we’ve never had,” says Tracey Sweek, senior conservator. “The history of conservation for us has always been in sub-basements or basements. We’ve had windows but they were so frosted or barred that it didn’t really give us any daylight.” They now have floor-to-ceiling glass — the ceilings high enough to accommodate the loftiest of sculptures and the floor capable of supporting several tons of marble.
Tours of the facilities will open for booking later in 2015. This programme and the WCEC are supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Full Financial Times feature here. See also the British Museum’s feature here, and our earlier feature on the Centre here.


January 2015
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