Beyond spring cleaning: Tapestries get 16 years of grooming
NEW YORK (AP) -
NEW YORK (AP) -- Think your home furnishings are a dust magnet? New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine just spent 16 years cleaning and conserving its rare, supersize wall hangings.
Now the historic house of worship is inviting the public to enjoy the fruits of its labor.
The 17th-century tapestries once graced the Vatican and European palaces.
These days, experts at the cathedral's textile conservation laboratory groom them with a labor-intensive process that uses dental probes, tweezers and microsuction. In addition to the standard dust and dirt, some of the tapestries suffered smoke and water damage during a 2001 fire.
The cathedral's exhibit, called "The Barberini Tapestries, Scenes from the Life of Christ," runs through June 25. The tapestries and artifacts will travel to Eugene, Oregon, in the fall.