On Tuesday there was a great buzz of excitement, as Samson was returned from conservators Plowden & Smith in London, to our museums’ superstore at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum of Norfolk Life.
Samson rejoins his friend Hercules in store, which is also where Norfolk Museums Service holds many of the other Norwich civic collections.
Before his journey, Plowden & Smith carefully placed Samson in a large purpose built packing crate, cushioned well with Plastazote (inert polyethylenefoam), which is a type of conservation grade foam. The conservators took great care as they had to ensure that he was cushioned so that there was no risk of damage from physical movement within the crate on the journey.
Samson was delivered by specialist fine art handlers G4Si and carefully offloaded by a forklift and moved inside our purpose-built large object store. Man-Yee Liu, Head of Conservation, and Wayne Kett, Collections Development Assistant, were there to welcome him.
Once the packing crate was opened, Man-Yee could undertake a condition check to ensure Samson was in fine form following his move.
“Enormous thanks go to everyone at Plowden & Smith who worked on the Samson project. Their commitment and professionalism over the past four years has helped to reveal an iconic object hidden for generations."
There are plans to replace one of the crate’s panels with acrylic so that Samson can be viewed without having to open the crate. This will ensure that he can easily be monitored by the collections team.
As one of the fantastic rewards on offer, donors pledging £995 can enjoy a VIP opportunity to visit Samson in store with the lead conservators, getting to glimpse the gorgeous giant before he goes on display. The reward also includes cream tea at the museum, free entry to the museum and its grounds and the chance to have your generous donation credited in the display. (The tour will take place on 30 April 2018 and includes a plus one.)
With only seven days to go, we urgently need your help to meet our £15,000 target and realise our ambition to install Samson at the Museum of Norwich at The Bridewell in a beautiful bespoke case. If the target is not met, Samson will remain in storage away from public view.
Can you help us Save Samson? Please share with anyone you think might like to help.