Museum Home Past Exhibitions Statue of an Emperor: A Conservation Partnership

Statue of an Emperor: A Conservation Partnership
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This exhibition features the conservation of a statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who ruled the Roman Empire from A.D. 161 to 180. The statue belongs to the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, and the conservation was a collaboration between the Pergamon and the Getty Museum. Composed of approximately 40 fragments of four different types of marble, some original, others carved during different restoration campaigns of the 18th and 19th centuries, the statue was in danger of collapsing because the joints between the fragments had loosened over time. The conservators took the statue completely apart and reassembled it. Video segments show this process as it took place in the conservation laboratories of the Getty Museum. The exhibition highlights changes in restoration and conservation practices that have occurred between the 18th and 21st centuries.