I never thought I would be excited about a box full of viles and wipes, but I am! We got our testing materials in the other day and now we can test some of the items we have had repatriated for contamination. The process is simple, we swab the item, send it back to the lab and they give us the readings. No travel, no transporting of the items. I am fairly certain some of the items have some harmful chemicals on them, due to how good of condition they are in for their age. Plus, one of the museums has had issues with other items having high levels of arsenic, it’s possible there may be some cross contamination going on.
So, once an item is back, it’s not a give it is safe to handle, let alone use, or rebury. This is yet one more step in the repatriation process. It is nice to have this finally happening and have something positive. We have had a string of negative situations occur but we are coming out of them. You can’t let a few people stop progress. repatriation hinges so much on grinding away, continually moving forward.