Many of the multiple layers of failing paint found on the statue contained heavy metals, such as lead, which was a common ingredient in paint products in the United States up until 1978. Due to the hazards of lead associated with public health, the paint on this statue needed to be removed and disposed of in a manner that was safe and in full accordance with existing laws and regulations, dealing with hazardous waste disposal. The large blue tank along side the statue was used to catch and contain the paint during removal. This inevitable necessity has added costs to the conservation project.
The installation of the Museum’s Statue of Liberty replica and the associated conservation project were made possible by the generosity of The Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust. Additional support was given by the New York State Assembly and its Brooklyn Delegation, and John and Diana Herzog.
Public support through both governmental agencies and individual donations is vital to support the collections in the Brooklyn Museum. Conservation projects such as this one will guarantee that the Museum remains a vibrant institution, serving its public’s needs. If you would like to lend your support to these collections, one way is to become a member of the Museum.
Lisa Bruno is the head conservator of objects at the Brooklyn Museum, where she has been working since 1993. She has previously worked at the Art Institute of Chicago, and has had internships at The Cleveland Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and in private practice. She has a Masters Degree in Art Conservation from the University of Delaware, Winterthur Museum Art Conservation Department. She is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation.