Protective chemical coating for old iron cannonballs at Pudukottai Govt Museum
The authorities have embarked on the task of preserving the old iron cannonballs kept as exhibits at the Pudukottai Government Museum by giving them a protective chemical coating to increase the lifespan of the precious items. Work has recently started in the over 100 year old museum which has a rich and varied collection of ancient artefacts also illustrating the history and culture of Pudukottai.
The task of chemically preserving the old iron balls was resumed after removing the rust, which had accumulated on them, using thinners. Subsequently, the iron cannonballs were coated using surgical alcohol.
Museum officials told “The Hindu” that the iron cannonballs were coated with polyvinyl acetate mixed with benzene. The protective coating was given to 108 iron cannonballs by museum staff to increase the lifespan of old and prized exhibits, authorities said adding that the same procedure would be followed to preserve some iron cannonballs. additional in the coming years. days.
Preservation of these metal pieces using chemicals was carried out once in five years at the Pudukottai Government Museum, the second largest in the state next to the Chennai Museum. Museum authorities would soon begin work to conserve the six iron and bronze cannons which are another additional attraction of the museum which operates in a heritage building.
The Pudukottai Museum has a collection of around 9,000 objects which includes ancient stone idols, metal icons, coins, manuscripts and ancient woodcarvings, as well as zoological, geological and botanical specimens. Started in Thirugokarnam in the town of Pudukottai by the former Thondaiman leaders of Pudukottai Samasthanam in 1910, the museum was handed over to the government after the merger of “Samasthanam” with the union after independence.
Preservation and conservation procedures for these ancient objects vary for metal icons, stone idols, woodcarvings and manuscripts, authorities say, adding that this exercise was carried out periodically to protect valuable exhibits. The museum also has in its rich collection portraits of Thondaiman rulers, industrial objects and musical instruments used in bygone times. Authorities further stated that conservation work on the heritage building housing the museum is currently underway. Almost 70% of the conservation work on the museum buildings has been completed to date. The museum is currently closed to visitors due to the peak in COVID-19 cases across the state.