If you visited Hampton Court Palace in the past month you would have noticed that the Queen’s Stair ceiling painting was obscured by an enormous scaffold. This was erected to enable specialist painting conservators and conservation scientists to take a look at the painted ceiling, measure any deterioration and consolidate any loose paint flakes.
While this work was happening, the preventive conservation team took the opportunity to vacuum the dust and dirt that had accumulated on the ledge. We can only to do this when a scaffold is up, approximately every five years. Removing this dust is important as it could become a breeding ground for pests; we were also able to help the conservation project by finding and saving some tiny paint flakes which were then reattached to the ceiling. It is, of course always a treat to enjoy this special access to a usually inaccessible part of the Palace!
Letitia Steer – Preventive Conservation Intern