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Gladiator blown glass vase (Palencia)

Vaso de los gladiadores Pulse para ampliar Vaso de los gladiadores

Palencia. Hispania romana (Sala 19, Vitrina 8)

After the Second World War major advances in the chemistry of industrial polymers led to the development of a wide variety of synthetic materials. Some of these products were soon discovered to have useful applications for the conservation of antiquities. Their properties gradually improved and in subsequent decades they became widely used in this field.

One of these plastics—polyester—led to a breakthrough in the reconstruction of glass with a clear material, instead of the plaster used hitherto, and was applied to the Gladiator vase. However, although it initially seemed to present ideal characteristics and function well, the passage of time has revealed that this and other such materials age poorly and tend to change colour.