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The Slave Girl

June 25, 2015

It’s taken me a while to get round to writing a blog on the subject, but on June 3rd our wanderer returned! John Bell’s Slave Girl bronze has been jet-setting around the world as part of an exhibition called Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837-1901. She was originally produced as a stand against slavery, so a very important sculptural piece from that era.

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After 12 months travelling, first to be displayed at the Yale Center for British Art in Connecticut followed by a stint at the Tate Britain in London, Katie (our nickname for her, because who wants to be known as the slave girl?!) has finally taken up her usual spot on the main stairs, in a small recess that could have been make just for her.

The National Trust, as well as many other museums, uses Constantine (a company specialising in the transport of historic objects and art works) to bring Katie back. She was packed in a crate which was made especially for her, and supported carefully to ensure she wouldn’t move in transit.

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The guys from Constantine are very experienced in handling historic objects which meant she was back up in her recess in no time at all, but not before we managed to get a few photos of her back (usually not visible due to the recess being only big enough to fit her base on to).

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Once she was in position, her final protective packaging of acid free tissue paper covering her earrings, chain and face could be carefully removed.

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