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2021-03-17

SPB RECOVERS PERIODIC TABLE FROM 1925

SPB has signed an agreement with the IES Vicent Ferrer in Valencia and the team of conservators and restorers of cultural property to restore a periodic table designed by the German chemist Andreas von Antropoff in 1925, which was located in the institute. 
 
The aim is to conserve and restore a large periodic table measuring exactly 1.60x1.90 m. It is printed on pulp paper. It is printed on wood pulp paper and then glued to a cloth with an aqueous glue. It is made up of four large fragments which make up the whole of the work, together with two wooden strips, one inside and the other above.
 
When this panel, which follows the Von Antropoff model, was found, the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Valencia and the Institute mobilised to promote its recovery. Miguel Burdeos, president of SPB, president of Quimacova and a chemistry graduate from this university, decided that SPB would be responsible for paying for the work.
 
The panel is in a very poor state of conservation. The main deterioration is that it has suffered a strong ingress of humidity, which has caused the upper part of the panel to be in a very poor state of conservation. This part of the panel has almost completely separated from the canvas, resulting in losses, missing pieces, tears, wrinkled areas, etc. Another of the deteriorations is the presence of packing tape on the upper left-hand side of the panel.
 
The work has a layer of varnish, probably shellac. In the upper part, this varnish has been denatured to such an extent that there are areas where it is completely powdery. Meanwhile, in the rest of the panel, due to the ingress of humidity, it has become stony in many areas, making it difficult to read.
 
Initial tests have begun with solubility and pH tests, which have helped the conservation team to configure the best restoration system. An intermediate intervention will be carried out, conserving the original canvas. As this is an intervention of this type, only the missing parts will be removed where the work is weakest and is in danger of being lost. Finally, the best storage system will be studied, taking into account the space available and the dimensions of the work.
 
Once the restoration is complete, reproductions of the original work will be made so that the significance of this work can be appreciated.
 
The periodic table designed by Andreas von Antropoff of the University of Bonn in 1925 was the synthesis of two previous models: the matrix periodic table by Werner, modified by Pfeiffer and Paschen, and the tree periodic table by Thomson and Bohr. This model of the periodic table was very well received by the scientific society and many reproductions of it were made, such as the one that SPB is restoring.
 
This restoration has a very important historical and cultural value because there are few known copies of the murals that are kept in good condition. A recovery that coincides with last year's commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements.

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