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Gem grinding, then and now

For over 6,000 years, the famous lapis lazuli deposits in Afghanistan have been the source of natural ultramarine, the highly prized blue pigment that used in works of art from antiquity to the Renaissance. On Saturday, Feb 21, a symposium at the MFAH will explore current scientific methods used to trace where the raw ultramarine was mined, the role of lapis lazuli in the history of art, and the special considerations conservators face in preserving works in which lapis lazuli is a major component. 1 to 6 p.m. in the Brown Auditorium Theater. FREE

Presenters are: Mark Mauthner, assistant curator—data management specialist, Gemological Institute of America, Carlsbad, California; Dr. Francesca Leoni, assistant curator of the Arts of the Islamic World, MFAH; Dr. Gregory D. Smith, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Conservation Science, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, New York; Dr. James Clifton, director of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation and curator of Renaissance and Baroque Painting, MFAH; and Dr. Eleonara Del Federico, associate professor of chemistry, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York.

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