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Philosophical and Technical Challenges of Conserving Composite Cultural Heritage Artifacts

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Columbia Universit Morningside Campus Avery, 113
Material complexity, scale, function and environmental factors, define and unite all forms of cultural heritage. In turn, these parameters shape conservation strategies including treatment, interpretation and display. In this presentation, conservator Paul Mardikian will discuss how the definition of composite materials can expand or contract depending on a number of factors, and in particular, ones individual perspective on the subject. Prominent examples of composite artifacts will be presented and discussed ranging from complex and sometimes oversized archaeological artifacts recovered from shipwrecks, to built! heritage, archaeological or industrial sites.

About Paul Mardikian
Paul Mardikian is senior conservator for the H.L. Hunley Project at Clemson University in South Carolina USA, a position that he has held since 1999. Prior to joining the Hunley Project, he worked on the conservation of artifacts from the RMS Titanic (1912) and the CSS Alabama (1863). He has graduate degrees in archaeology, art history and conservation from the school of the Louvre and the Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne University respectively, specializing in the conservation of underwater cultural heritage. He has provided conservation for numerous maritime excavations in the Mediterranean, Australia, Canada and the United States. Pauls primary interests are the conservation of large-scale maritime archaeological and industrial artifacts, particularly metals and composite artifacts. He is a professional associate member of the American Institute for Conservation and assistant coordinator for the ICOM-CC Metal Working Group (MWG). More recently, Paul served as program chair and! co-editor for the MWG interim meeting, METAL 2010.