Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Ardabil Carpet at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

The Ardabil Carpet at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

When the V&A Museum acquired this Ardabil carpet in the 1950s, they cleaned it, repaired it and hung it in a three-fold frame. It was displayed in a glass gallery where it remained for about 20 years. Unfortunately, this was not enough for a carpet of this magnitude and importance. Signs of damage were beginning to appear and it was incredibly dirty after all those years. It was obvious that a lot of work needed to be done in order to display the carpet in all its glory.

One of the first things the museum did was send the carpet to a facility in Alabama. While there, the carpet was washed on a special ramp, using fresh mountain water that contained very few minerals and chlorine. Then it was attached to special sheeting that provided support. These changes kept the carpet in good condition for about 30 years. But the museum knew that to really display the carpet in the very best light, it had to be viewed on the floor. This proved to be a challenge for the museum, but eventually, the carpet was placed on the floor and encased in glass for all to see.

Khosrow Sobhe
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)

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