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Old February 10 2013, 10:51 AM   #37
CorporalCaptain
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Re: White House Petition to Restore/Preserve and Move the Enterprise M

scotpens wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
I'm reminded so much of the controversy that attended the restoration of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Some art historians and experts insisted that the colors had faded and been dulled over the centuries and that restoring it to more vivid hues was a restoration of its original appearance, while others felt the subdued colors were right and disliked the restoration. Just goes to show you can't please everyone.
In the case of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, restorers used pure distilled water to clean centuries of dirt and varnish from the frescoes. The used water was constantly tested to make sure that no pigments or materials from Leonardo's time were being removed.

The brighter, flatter images that were revealed looked too cartoon-like to some people, who insisted that the artist must have added "toning" layers of paint for shading and modeling over the fresco base -- layers that were inadvertently scrubbed off during the restoration. There's no historic evidence that Leonardo ever did or intended such a thing.
You mean Michelangelo, yes?

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I've seen the model at the National Air and Space Museum twice, but before the restoration and before its move to its present location. Both times, I made a special trip just to see it and was utterly delighted.

I have no comment on the "gridlines" or any other aspect of the restoration, because I'm not familiar enough with the facts.

The mission statement of the National Air and Space Museum can be found at http://airandspace.si.edu/events/pre...rview_nasm.cfm:

National Air and Space Museum wrote:
Mission Statement:
The National Air and Space Museum shall commemorate the national development of aviation and spaceflight, and will educate and inspire the nation by:
  • Preserving and displaying aeronautical and spaceflight equipment and data of historical interest and significance to the progress of aviation and spaceflight
  • Developing educational materials and conducting programs to increase the public's understanding of, and involvement in, the development of aviation and spaceflight
  • Conducting and disseminating new research in the study of aviation and spaceflight and their related technologies.
An objective reading of that mission statement leaves little room for the Enterprise as an exhibit at the museum. The model does not itself represent any actual development in aviation or spaceflight. Although the model might be inspirational to many, the model is not a piece of actual "aeronautical and spaceflight equipment," and, being a model, nor is it mere data of historical, or any other kind of, interest and significance. Considering the model to be educational material is also both a stretch and inappropriate. And, it's certainly not a research project.

The only room I see that could accommodate it in the mission statement is if one considers the model part of a program "to increase the public's understanding of, and involvement in, the development of aviation and spaceflight." However, any such role is surely subordinate to the place that the model has as an artifact of our cultural history. Moreover, the model's function in any such role depends upon how well the model actually motivates future generations to become involved in aviation and spaceflight.

Now, does that mean that the model "doesn't belong" at the museum? Not necessarily. Clearly, Star Trek was inspirational to many present and in past generations, and the public's interest in Star Trek influenced the naming of the Space Shuttle prototype. Those are historical facts, irrespective of how inspiring future generations find Star Trek to be, which arguably provide reason enough for the model to remain at the museum.

Dreaming of flight is a part of the history of human flight. However, I think the museum mission statement should be amended to clearly accommodate the model, as an artifact associated with public interest in space, if it remains.

By the way, I see that there's presently a Transformers exhibit [http://airandspace.si.edu/exhibition...ansformers.cfm]. While that may be appealing or inspirational to current generations, and provide a draw, does that mean that Transformers should remain a permanent part of the museum?
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