Cultural Services

Central Conservation Section

The Central Conservation Section, whose primary role is to conserve public museum collections for the benefit of present and future generations, completed the restoration and treatment of 583 cultural objects in the past year, including paintings, documents, prints, textiles, metals, ceramics, organic materials and archaeological finds. It also continued to provide technical support for thematic exhibitions and assisted in the management of some 200 000 collection items pertaining to 14 public museums, two heritage centres, the Antiquities and Monument Office, and the Art Promotion Office.

Conservation specialist repairing a damaged wooden relic for the Chik Kwai Study Hall.

The pilot use of moisture sensors and a piezometer to collect hydrogeological data from soil around the perimeter of the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb greatly facilitated the conservators in understanding the problems of rising damp and salt migration within the tomb bricks, which allowed them to design suitable preservation strategies for this important monument. The Section's recent acquisition of an X-ray Diffractometer (XRD) will help it to determine the condition, material nature, deterioration mechanisms and even the provenance of museum objects before devising an appropriate course of treatment.

A conservation specialist interprets data collected from a piezometer and moisture sensors set up for a hydrogeological study of the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb.

As part of its educational and extension activities, the Section for the first time launched a Conservation Outreach Week under the School Culture Day Scheme with a view to spreading the message of artefact conservation and widening the horizons of school students. The talks, workshops and exhibitions on conservation held in the participating schools were well received by teachers and students alike. The Section also organised 50 conservation workshops, guided tours and thematic talks in 2008-09, attracting a total of 1 208 visitors. To elicit greater community support for the preservation of Hong Kong's cultural properties, the Section recruited a volunteer conservation team that together generously contributed a total of 515 service hours to various conservation projects during the year.

With a view to publicising local conservation work and heightening professional links with its overseas counterparts, the Section presented two academic papers and one poster at an international conference organised by the International Council of Museums ------- Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC) in New Delhi in September 2008. The titles of the two papers were Bringing back the grandeur: Conversion of Kom Tong Hall to Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum and Building an Audience for Conservation in Hong Kong, whilst the subject of the poster was Study of Natural History Specimens using X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry.

A conservation specialist presents a paper at the International Council of Museums ------- Committee for Conservation Conference held in India, signifying the LCSD's contribution to the preservation of local heritage.
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