GCI Receives California EPA Award

The Getty Conservation Institute received an award in October 1994 from the California Environmental Protection Agency (CAL/EPA). The award commends innovations in the development of environmentally friendly ways to combat pests. In honoring the Institute, CAL/EPA recognized the GCI's work with researchers at the University of California, Riverside, on the use of nitrogen, an inert gas, as a means to control pests in the museum environment. Presently, many museums rely on highly toxic fumigants to control pests that can damage and contaminate objects in a collection. The GCI's research has demonstrated that nitrogen treatment, which is completely safe, can effectively eliminate the pests that commonly plague museums and collections.

The CAL/EPA award was established in 1993 by its Department of Pesticide Regulation to encourage leadership and creativity in implementing reduced-risk pest management systems.

Nefertari Exhibition Opens in Rome

Conservation image

The exhibition "Nefertari: Light of Egypt," organized by the Getty Conservation Institute and the Fondazione Memmo, opened October 6, 1994, at the Palazzo Ruspoli in Rome.

This exhibit is intended to raise public awareness of conservation. Using a variety of media, it integrates history and the display of objects with a presentation of the conservation process, highlighting for the visitor the importance of conservation in cultural preservation.

Centered on the theme of discovery, the exhibition commemorates the unearthing of the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens by Italian archaeologist Ernesto Schiaparelli in 1904, as well as the conservation of its wall paintings by the GCI and the Egyptian Antiquities Organization from 1986 to 1992. The 3,200-year-old tomb was constructed by the pharaoh Ramses II for his favorite wife and is considered one of the most beautiful tombs in the royal Egyptian burial grounds.

The exhibition combines a variety of elements from the ancient to the futuristic to describe the tomb's meaning, history, art, archaeology, and conservation. It includes more than 130 objects, some from Nefertari's original funerary furnishings. The Louvre, the British Museum, the Egyptian Museum of Turin, the Archaeological Museum of Florence, and Turin's Royal Library all loaned items to the exhibit. The exhibition includes material explaining the six-year conservation project under the direction of wall paintings conservators Paolo and Laura Mora, formerly of Rome's Istituto Centrale del Restauro.

A life-size replica of one of the tomb's chambers after conservation and Schiaparelli's original 1:10 scale tomb model are also on display. In addition, visitors can discover the tomb in 3-D with the latest system of real-time, interactive virtual reality. Using a joystick, they can travel anywhere within the tomb—both as it appears today and at the time of its discovery—and stop to look at conservation problems and treatment methods, or listen to recitations of the hieroglyphic inscriptions that appear on the wall paintings.

The exhibition will run at least through April 1995.