Preserving history is what museums strive for. People go through the galleries on a daily basis, always admiring different works. What some don’t realize is the amount of work that goes into preserving the artifacts and keeping them standing in their original positions
Pottery is sometimes found broken or pulverized. Some museums will place broken pieces out in the display, but others will go and replicate what the item once looked like. In order to get the public’s attention, parts of the original pottery is sometimes placed in a replica of what the original looked like. When pottery is placed like this in the display it means that others like it have been found, allowing for the replica to be made.
To preserve some sites, archeologists will add bars, poles, and nails to keep a structure from falling down. This in turn will allow the public to understand and explore how these structures used to stand.
In some museums, statures and pillars will sometimes show a reconstruction of how something used to look like. Pictured above on the left is a pillar that shows aging and deteriation, while on the right is of it reconstructed by artists and archeologists to give the public insight as to how it may have looked like before.
Like all items that are reconstructed or restored, they are made in approximation to what scientists believe the pottery or statue was made in accordance to other items of similar nature. This chariot, though little of the original remains, is being shown in approximation to how it was once decorated.
Statues sometimes have missing pieces put in and will be reinforced with cement bases, poles, or nails. Depending on how fragil the piece is a museum will sometimes opt out of placing anything on a statue and leave it in its original state.
Large statues like this will be held up with a newer base in order to keep it from collasping in the gallery. If the statue is in a more delicate condition, some museums will not display the item to keep it from breaking more.
Gold pieces are sometimes found in broken bits because of the material’s delicacy. In some cases if the item was produced in a massive scale or if it left molds, it can be reconstructed to a certain degree. The gold piece above is lying on top of a sketch of what the design may have looked like before it was broken.
Jewelry is restored based on similar pieces. A hair pin like this can also be reconstructed based on modern pieces.
Sketches of the sphinx pillars shows the varying conditions that all of them were originally found in. Having sketches like this allows the public to see where the museum is getting all the details from on the restored pillars.
The entire top portion of the sphinx pillar is made of a newer plaster. In the museum where the photo was taken there were other more complete pillars. Having more similar items helps when it comes to restoration. It allows for better detail precision and size comparison.
The Parthenon is having some portions restored. This is being done in order to understand the building better and catch the attention of tourist to the area. A large scale reconstruction like this sometimes will require the approval of the state because of its cultural and sentimental value to the citizens in the area.
Each piece is made differently and handle in various ways. Although some of the images above may not be of the original work, the replica can be just as important.