X-ray Determines Reconstruction Methods

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), in preparation to relocate one of the largest sculptures of the Pyramid Age, worked with Baker Testing Services to obtain insight to the methods and materials used during reconstruction of the sculpture.  

Non-destructive inspection of the Pharaoh Menkaura sculpture was performed on-site at the MFA using Gamma radiography inspection. 

As documented by the MFA, “The studies revealed that the large and heavy original stone fragments were not securely joined by pinning. Losses had been filled with an agglomerate of plaster, metal tubes, and other materials. The base of the throne consisted of solid brickwork built on top of a cement base. Past reconstruction efforts could not have anticipated that relocation would ever be necessary, and the result was a complex, three-dimensional patchwork of ancient and modern materials. The eight-foot-tall sculpture is therefore not only fragile but also extremely heavy, with an estimated weight of more than 4,000 pounds.”

Read more about the sculpture and its conservation at the MFA website.

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Museum Art Inspection