Courtyard Sculpture Conservation Project

In this video, Objects Conservator Jessica Chloros cleans the marble statue of Odysseus from the Courtyard with a laser.

Over the next several months conservators will clean all of the major classical sculpture in the Courtyard. While some of the smaller pieces will be treated in the Museum’s conservation laboratory, larger sculptures will be treated in place inside the small roofed structure built specifically for this purpose. Here conservators are using an innovative laser technique: the laser beam emits energy that is absorbed exclusively by dark materials, loosening dirt without damaging the pale marble surface. The curtained sides keep the laser beam safely contained while work is in progress, but can be pulled back at other times so visitors can see the sculpture inside.

The standing Goddess in the front corner of the Courtyard (look for the statue without a head) is the first piece to have been cleaned. The second restored Goddess will be on full display again June 13, and their glowing appearance will soon be shared by the rest of their companions.

The Courtyard Sculpture Conservation Project has been made possible in part by generous funding from Ed and Anne Teppo.