Restoration and conservation work carried out on the Caryatids from the southern porch of the Erechtheion temple has earned the Acropolis Museum in Athens an international distinction.
The museum was awarded the Keck Award 2012 by the International Institute for Conservation (IIC) in Vienna on September 14. The restoration and conservation of the Kore from the Erechtheion was carried out with the use of laser technology.
Established in 1994, the award is presented on a biennial basis and was endowed by the late art conservation pioneers Sheldon and Caroline Keck.
According to the IIC Council, the award is presented to “the individual or group who has contributed most towards promoting public understanding and appreciation of the accomplishments of the conservation profession.”
The Acropolis Museum was honoured for its efforts to offer visitors the chance to observe conservation procedures that previously could only be seen in conservation labs. According to the museum, more than 2 million visitors have watched the conservation specialists at work since December 2010.
The scientists working at the Athens museum used a highly innovative laser technique developed by the museum and the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser at the Foundation for Research and Technology on Crete.
At the museum, the specialists work on the sculptures inside a closed-off area while visitors can watch the procedure on a screen.