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World-renowned conservator to restore ancient artifact for upcoming exhibition

World-renowned conservator to restore ancient artifact for upcoming exhibition

Gatineau, Quebec, September 22, 2006 — World-renowned conservator Brian Arthur, specialist in ceramics, is restoring the only whole ancient clay pot from the Alberta Great Plains in the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s collection. Visitors will have the opportunity to watch Mr. Arthur at work in the Grand Hall on September 24, 2006.

The ceramic pot was discovered by amateur archaeologists near Cheadle, Alberta, in a region where ancient pottery is extremely rare. This pot has been identified as pre-contact Blackfoot Old Women’s Phase culture (ca. AD 800 to 1600). For a number of weeks now, Mr. Arthur has been systematically removing the reconstructive plaster and carefully repositioning the shards in their proper location. By doing so, he is bringing the pot much closer to its original state.

“The quality of the shards is making it very challenging to reassemble the pot,” said Mr. Arthur. “Although the early restoration was a good effort, the end result yielded a vessel whose shape and surface texture were not quite the same as those of the original,” he added.

The clay Pot was already assembled when the Museum acquired it in 1952, and remained so until this spring, when conservation treatments started the process of making this rare artifact more presentable for the upcoming exhibition MASTERS of the Plains: Ancient Nomads of Russia and Canada which opens at the Museum on December 1, 2006.

The exhibition, which examines everyday life on the ancient grasslands, features more than 400 artifacts from Canada and Russia. Created by a joint team of archaeologists, curators and other specialists from the CMC and the Samara Regional Museum in Russia, this exhibition represents the first-ever archaeology and anthropology research partnership of its kind between a Canadian and a Russian museum. MASTERS of the Plains will have its world premiere at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. It will then travel in 2008 to the Samara Regional Museum in Samara, Russia.

Media Information:

Chief, Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7167

Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7169

Fax: 819 776-7187

2006-09-22 00:00:00.000

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