On the morning of June 23, 2020, the expert acceptance inspection meeting for the completion of the project titled Protection and Restoration of Armor Pieces of Chu State in the Collection of Yichang Museum in Hubei undertaken by the National Museum of China was held in Yichang Museum. Due to the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic, this acceptance inspection meeting was mainly conducted by online reports. The participating experts included: Wu Shunqing, researcher of Jingzhou Cultural Relics Protection Center, Zhou Songluan, director of the Cultural Relics Protection Center of the Hubei Provincial Museum, Li Ling, researcher of the Cultural Relics Protection Center of the Hubei Provincial Museum, and Li Qi, deputy director of the Information Exchange Center of Cultural Relics of Hubei. The four experts inspected the cultural relics after restoration on the spot. After listening to the reports made by the project team, they agreed that the project adopted the scientific and reasonable restoring materials and technology and finished the task of protection and restoration agreed by the contract with high quality in strict accordance with the requirements of the Approval for the Protection and Restoration Program of Armor Pieces of Chu State in the Collections of Yichang Museum in Hubei (Cultural Relics Museum Letter〔2016〕No. 682) issued by the National Cultural Heritage Administration, and they agreed to approve the acceptance inspection for completion of the project.
As a key scientific research base of the National Cultural Heritage Administration in the protection of metallic relics, the National Museum of China has remained at the forefront of the protection and restoration of metallic relics in our country. In 2016, the Protection and Restoration Program of Armor Pieces of Chu State in the Collection of Yichang Museum in Hubei compiled by NMC Institute of Conservation was examined and approved by the National Cultural Heritage Administration. In March 2017, after the feasibility report of single source purchases organized by the Municipal Bureau of Finance of Yichang was approved, Yichang Museum entrusted the National Museum of China to conduct the concrete work of protection and restoration. The project was led by the researcher Pan Lu, chief conservator of the National Museum of China. The members of the project team were as follows: Cheng Xiaolin, Li Mo, Tang Linran, Wu Na, Zhang Xinyu, Han Ying, Yang Qin, Liu Min, Yan Defu, Zhao Dandan, Liu Wei and etc.; in addition, the staff members and interns from Yichang Museum, University of Science and Technology Beijing and Beijing Union University participated in the protection and restoration of some cultural relics.
It took three years for the project team to finish the protection and restoration of 655 pieces (sets) of metallic armor (decoration) in total satisfactorily. The team also wrote the file for the protection and restoration of cultural relics according to relevant national standards. In addition, the team insisted on the promotion of scientific research and team building in a sturdy way based on the project in the course of its implementation. Taking full advantage of the excellent conditions and strength for scientific research of the National Museum of China, the project team conducted a comprehensive exploration of the production technology, corrosion state and its reason, cleaning materials for corrosion products and accretions, and methods for protection and restoration of this batch of metallic armor. All these efforts further deepened their understanding of the value of the cultural relics and the technology for protecting and restoring special metallic materials. During this period, the project team published four relevant academic theses in total, finished one Master’s thesis and one bachelor's thesis, and cultivated one postgraduate student and one undergraduate student. This project further promoted our museum’s professional ability in protecting and restoring metallic cultural relics too. (Written by: Li Mo and Cheng Xiaolin)