U.S., Bahamas salvage hurricane-damaged artifacts

August 20, 2020

Almost a year after Hurricane Dorian battered The Bahamas, a partnership between Bahamian and U.S. museum officials continues to save damaged cultural objects.

In September 2019, the Category 5 Atlantic hurricane — The Bahamas’ worst natural disaster on record — slammed the Abaco Islands and the Grand Bahama Islands and left them without electricity and running water, placing local museums’ collections in peril.

The Smithsonian team brought some needed conservation supplies and taught conservation techniques to their Bahamian peers. Soon afterward, a $42,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) provided additional conservation supplies to two community museums on the Abaco Islands that suffered extensive damage to their structures and collections.

A former museum curator identified a hand-drawn map and a hymnal as among collection priorities. Both items had suffered moisture damage.

The AFCP grant is providing HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuums and brushes to gently remove mold spores, conservation-quality storage materials for rehousing objects, and personal protective gear for staffers while they work with moldy collections.

In addition, the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative will consult with local experts on conservation, as requested, and track the shipment of supplies to The Bahamas, where NAGB partners will take charge.

Since its creation in 2001, the AFCP has provided financial support to 1,000 projects in 125 countries around the world.

 

Original article posted on ShareAmerica website.