In late 2013, we told you all about the definitive international Mayan Exhibit called "Hidden Worlds Revealed" designed by the Science Museum of Minnesota. Featuring 160 artifacts - the majority of them from Belize, it has been traveling all over America.
It's the most exposure many rare Belizean artefacts have ever gotten. That's because many of them are stored in an area known as the dungeon, a dank and dark basement at NICH Headquarters.
Well, today a representative from the Science Museum of Minnesota traveled to Belize to hold a collections preservation workshop at the House of Culture. The main objective of the workshop was to train museum directors and staff on the methods of preserving artifacts and antiquities. Belize's precious artifacts need to be properly maintained and the coordinator of the workshop Rebecca Newberry told us about the training in techniques.
"This is a workshop on collections preservation for Belize and the main goal is to increase and improve the care of collections in Belize. we are taking some of the information that I've learn over the years and I am sharing it with our colleagues here to just make things better - that objects are preserve longer. I think what I need to do is see more of how things are stored and where I want to help is to provide really practical workable solutions for storage issues. Here, some of the places are very high humidity in the storage and so that leads to molds and other problems. So, it's maybe looking at how do we identify the most vulnerable collections, that are most vulnerable to humidity and we separate them and store them separately in dryer conditions while the rest of the things can stay in those higher humidity."
"I think it is important because again, while we collect these things, we also need to know how to take care of them for future use. And so this workshop will provide those tools for everybody and for our environment and our climate, because the way we take care of things is different from what somebody in the United States would do. So Rebecca is here to teach us what are those things that we can do and a little small micro way that can then save these pieces for future generations."
The workshop concludes on Wednesday with a site visit to the NICH collections storage facility.