The Second Project Consortium Meeting of the EU-funded project Nanorestart took place in London on 12–14 June 2017.

The Nanorestart project team at Tate Modern, 14 June 2017

The first two days were hosted by University College London on its Gower Street Campus. Over 50 researchers and the project management team came together for their annual meeting to assess the progress and present the most recent research developments.

The third and final day took place at Tate Modern in the morning of 14 June. It started with a breakfast served in the Viewing Terrace of the Blavatnik Building, which sits at the top floor of Tate Modern’s recent expansion by architects Herzog & de Meuron.

Welcome speech by Pip Laurenson, Viewing Terrace, Tate Modern, 14 June 2017

Professor Pip Laurenson, Head of Collection Care Research at Tate, welcomed the guests underlying the role of Tate as a recognised independent research organisation and its advancements in the fields of conservation and conservation science, since the establishment of the Conservation Department in the 1950s.

The second part of the event took place in the exhibition room dedicated to Mark Rothko’s Seagram Murals. This room brings together eight of Tate’s murals, which were painted in 1958–9. On 7 October 2012 one of the paintings, Black on Maroon 1958, was vandalised with graffiti ink. The visible damage was significant and as the painting was delicate, degraded and unprotected by glazing or a coherent varnish layer, the attack presented a serious conservation challenge.

Talk by Bronwyn Ormsby and Rachel Barker, Rothko’s Seagram Murals Room, Tate Modern, 14 June 2017

Paintings conservator Rachel Barker and Principal conservation scientist Bronwyn Ormsby were part of the team that carried out the successful treatment of the painting, which was returned to display at Tate Modern in 2014. Bronwyn and Rachel guided the Nanorestart team through a private view of Rothko’s Seagram Murals Room and gave a talk on the research and restoration that allowed the painting to be enjoyed once again by visitors from all over the world.

The Nanorestart research team will meet again in Autumn 2018 for the final Project Consortium Meeting and Conference. In the meanwhile researchers and conservators at Tate are continuing the work on the second case study, Roy Lichtenstein Whaam! 1963, and are soon starting to work on the third case study, Eva Hesse Addendum 1967.

Luigi Galimberti

June 2017