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Oxford University Museum of Natural History – Laser Cleaning

Oxford University Museum of Natural History is a Grade 1 listed building designed by Irish architects, Thomas Newenham Deane and Benjamin Woodward. Its Pre-Raphaelite design is essentially a large rectangular court covered by a glass roof supported by cast iron pillars. Within the internal quadrangle of the museum building there cloistered arcades with stone columns. The arches of limestone and sandstone are supported by polished columns of an incredible range of British stone varying from the granites of Scotland to the limestones of Wales and England.

Project location:

The accumulated dirt, dust and fingerprints of museum life [Oxford University Musem of Natural History] had, since 1860, turned this honey coloured stone distinctly black! In a live museum setting cleaning the stone with water or abrasion was not an option so Eura undertook a conservation clean using high powered lasers to return the stone to it’s original state.

Each polished column was carefully masked and the display cases moved and covered to prevent any damage to the exhibits prior to shielding the whole area from human sight line. Lasers, at this power level, without the use of protective laser goggles, would certainly damage eyesight with the added potential of damage to the exhibits too.
The accretion of 150 years was vapourised and vacuumed away leaving the stone bright and clean.

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