Tamil Nadu

Protective chemical coating for old iron cannon balls in Pudukottai Govt Museum

Protective coating being given to the iron cannon balls at the Government Museum in Pudukottai.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Authorities have embarked on the task of conserving old iron cannon balls kept as exhibits in the Pudukottai Government Museum by giving them protective chemical coating to increase the life of the prized objects. The work commenced recently at the over 100-year-old museum which has a rich and varied collection of antique items depicting the history and culture of Pudukottai as well.

The task of chemically conserving the old iron cannon balls were taken up after removal of rust, which had accumulated over them, using thinners. Thereafter, the iron cannon balls were given a coating using surgical spirit.

Museum authorities told 'The Hindu' that the iron cannon balls were being given a coating of polyvinyl acetate mixed with benzene. The protective coating has been given to 108 iron cannon balls by the museum staff to increase the life time of the old and prized exhibits, the authorities said adding that the same procedure would be followed for preserving a few more iron cannon balls in the next few days.

Conservation of such metal exhibits using chemicals was being done once in five years at the Pudukottai Government Museum which is the second largest in the State next to Chennai Museum. The museum authorities would soon take up works to conserve the six cannons made of iron and bronze which are yet another added attraction at the museum which functions 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 antique wood carvings besides zoological, geological and botanical specimens. Started at Thirugokarnam in Pudukottai Town by the erstwhile Thondaiman rulers of the Pudukottai Samasthanam in 1910, the museum was handed over to the government after the merger of the 'Samasthanam' with the union post independence.

The preservation and conservation procedures of these antique items vary for metal icons, stone idols, wood carvings and manuscripts, say the authorities adding that this exercise was being done periodically to protect the prized exhibits. The museum also has in its rich collection portraits of Thondaiman rulers, industrial artefacts and musical instruments used in the bygone era. The authorities further said the conservation works of the heritage building housing the museum was currently underway. Nearly 70% of the museum building conservation works had been carried out so far. The museum is presently closed for visitors in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases across the State.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 1:18:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/protective-chemical-coating-for-old-iron-cannon-balls-in-pudukottai-govt-museum/article34489759.ece

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