Work is beginning this week to use custom restoration fill materials in the visually-disturbing cracks of the Tomb of the Unknowns. AIC is among a group of cultural organizations that have served as consulting parties to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over a period of several years in determining the best approach to conserving and maintaining this iconic monument for future generations. Now the public can learn about this effort on a newly released video and slide show produced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In 2007, the Arlington National Cemetery published a report that recommended four options for the Tomb: a) to do nothing b) to repair the Tomb c) to repair the Tomb while procuring a replacement stone d) to replace the Monument. Working with AIC members Martin Burke, Mary Striegel, and Shelley Sturman, AIC strongly recommended consideration of appropriate treatment and maintenance of the Tomb in a letter to decision-making entities. AIC also joined in partnership with other cultural organizations, which include the National Park Service (NPS), National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), National Trust for Historic Preservation, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and U.S. Commission for Fine Arts, to urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Arlington National Cemetery to undertake conservation treatment of the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Joining forces with NCPTT staff, AIC helped ensure that professional experts were consulted and sound recommendations made for a color-matched, stable fill for the cracks. In consultation with Norman Weiss and Richard Pieper, Amy Hollis, a conservator with Worchester Eisenbrandt, Inc, has created and tested a series of custom restoration fill materials to be used on the Tomb. AIC also recognizes its Professional Associate member Amber Tarnowski, U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center (USAHEC), who shared her expertise and was actively involved in the Tomb of the Unknowns preservation project over the past several years. The work is being undertaken after hours at the cemetery in respect of the changing of the guard and the visitors’ experience.
To view a slideshow of the repairs, visit http://youtu.be/L2LIvGB_89I.
For more information, visit http://ncptt.nps.gov/2011/preservation-efforts-underway-at-the-tomb-of-the-unknowns.