Issue Date: September 3, 2007
Conservation At Arm's Length
SOME IDEAS are better than others.
During the mid-1960s, in the height of that decade's passion for plastics, someone deemed it necessary to laminate Belgium's oldest parchment, the Codex Eyckensis, which dates from the 7th- or 8th-century A.D. The intentions were good: preservation of an aging and sacred document. But more recently, the polyvinyl chloride-based laminate—with the inadvertently apt name of Mipofolie ('folie' means 'folly' in French)—caused its own havoc. The plastic's own degradation exposed . . .
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