Conservation: Understanding the Hoard
Soon after the Staffordshire Hoard was successfully acquired, the Staffordshire Hoard Conservation Plan was written in consultation with the Metals Conservation Department at the British Museum. The plan sets out the guiding principles, project structure, and treatment strategies for the Conservation Programme, which is being led by Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
The Conservation Team
A Conservation Team of three conservators based at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, has been established, thanks to funds from the Art Fund, the National Memorial fund, public donations and the National Geographic and Birmingham Museums Trust. Additional conservation placements in 2013 have been funded by English Heritage and we are grateful to the Pilgrim Trust who will be part-funding a conservator throughout 2013/14.
The Advisory Panel
The original Conservation Advisory Panel has now been replaced by the Research Project Advisory Panel which continues to advise and support the conservation team.
This was set up to allow both conservation students and conservators in professional practice to participate in the conservation of the Staffordshire Hoard and to share their knowledge with the Conservation Team. The internship programme is now in its third year and we are grateful to the Mercers Charitable Foundation for funding which will enable us to continue and develop the internship programme in 2013/14.
Supporting public interest
As well as conserving the treasures, the team has been tasked with maintaining a public profile, as there is a strong ongoing interest in the project from the public. A number of activities are planned, such as regular video blogs and updates on the conservation programme on our conservation & research blog, facilitated public tours to the gallery, and presentations to specialist and general interest groups.
In addition the team regularly helps film crews and visiting specialists and researchers - over the last six months, the team has hosted 41 visits to the conservation studios!
An enjoyable challenge
The conservation of the Staffordshire Hoard to the varying requirements of the exhibition programme, research teams and analytical teams is a challenge, but one that is exciting and rewarding. Working with the co-owners - The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, the wider partners, researchers and the British Museum offers many opportunities to the conservation team to learn from and interact with specialists in their fields.
Staffordshire Hoard Conservation Project Manager
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Birmingham B3 3DH