skip to content

Faculty of Classics

 

Conservation in Action: The Bassae Frieze

Planned start date: Tuesday 8 December 2020
Planned end date: This project may run into January 2021

Please note: we will be closed for Christmas from 5pm on Friday 18 December 2020 and will reopen (lockdown permitting) at 11am on Tuesday 5 January 2021. We will also be closed on Friday 11 December for essential maintenance.

 

book your tickets now

 

Our casts of the Bassae frieze are in need of essential conservation work - it's a two-to-three week job, and we're going to be undertaking it right here, in our Cast Gallery. We'll be working with a team from Cliveden Conservation to remove the casts, strengthen them, and then rehang them with a new mounting system to prevent further damage.

It's going to be a tricky task: the Bassae casts are hung more than 3m high on the wall, and above our (very large) casts of the West Pediment from Olympia. But we'll be bringing you along with us. Book a ticket (lockdown permitting, of course) to see the conservation work for yourself or keep up to date online: we're going to be posting updates here and we've got a number of online events planned to keep you in the loop.

 

About the project

We are committed to ensuring our casts are preserved for future generations to enjoy and study – and as a result, we are regularly monitoring cracks in the plaster and corrosion in the metal, and embarking on a rolling programme of conservation work.

Plaster is a brittle and soft material, which is prone to damage, breaks and staining. Even touching can make it dirty. Internal metal skeletons and fixings are at risk of corrosion and metal fatigue. In this sense, our casts are more delicate than the originals.

Our casts of the Bassae frieze may not be at risk of touching (although look closely and you might see old handling marks) because they are mounted high up on the wall  but they pose their own challenges. We'll need to build a scaffold to access them, and we'll need to work carefully around the large and immobile casts of the West Pediment from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia beneath them. The new mounting system we'll be using will mean that their weight is carried by a shelf, rather than by mounts in the back of the plaster itself.

 

Upcoming Activities

Watch this space! We are planning a busy programme of online engagement, in addition to the opportunities to watch the work take place in the Cast Gallery.

 

Find out more

 

 

 

Date: 
Tuesday, 8 December, 2020 - 11:00 to Friday, 18 December, 2020 - 14:00
Contact name: 
Susanne Turner
Contact phone: 
01223 330402
Event location: 
Cast Gallery, Museum of Classical Archaeology

Latest news

The Faculty invites applications for a two-year Lectureship in Classics (Greek Literature)

19 April 2021

The Faculty invites applications for a two-year Lectureship in Classics (Greek Literature) from 1st September 2021. The deadline for applications is Monday 16th May 2021 . Applications from those currently completing PhDs in any area of Greek literature, as well as from post-doctoral scholars will be welcomed. Further...

Professor Paul Cartledge receives one of Greece’s highest honours

13 April 2021

Professor Paul Cartledge, Emeritus A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, received the Commander of the Order of Honour (Ταξιάρχης τῆς Τιμῆς), for his 'contribution to enhancing Greece's stature abroad'. One of the highest honours the Greek state can give, Paul received the honour from the H. E. Ambassador to London...

Publication of the Cambridge Greek Lexicon

13 April 2021

The much-anticipated Cambridge Greek Lexicon will be published by Cambridge University Press (CUP) on 22nd April 2021. Written by an editorial team based in the Faculty, the Cambridge Greek Lexicon , which has been twenty years in the making, covers the most widely read ancient literary texts, from Homer to the Hellenistic...

Teaching Classics in the time of Covid-19

24 February 2021

Dr Renaud Gagné, Director of Undergraduate Studies, discusses the on-going challenges and adaptations made by the Faculty as the Covid-19 crisis continues and Lent term began under a renewed lockdown.