Conserving the French 75mm Field Gun
Over the past few months I’ve been working in the care and conservation team at IWM London to assess the condition of the large exhibits that you see throughout the museum, as we prepare them for moving this autumn.
This work involves the condition assessment of the structure, metalwork and paintwork, and includes making recommendations on packing and transit so they can be safely moved out of the building. We have to thoroughly inspect everything that we need to move, which often means crawling into or underneath objects, seeing parts that most people never see. On occasion we will need to repair or secure parts of the item so it can be safely moved, and many of these items have not been moved for over 20 years.
This week I will be working on the French 75mm Field Gun, which is in the middle of the Large Exhibits Gallery as you enter IWM London.
The histories of these large exhibits are fascinating and all have a story to tell. This field gun is an example of its type designed in 1897 with a pneumatic-recoil system which was revolutionary for its time. It was adopted by the French Army and used in many key battles of the First World War.
The French Government presented this one to IWM shortly after the First World War. It has an interesting display history at IWM, including documentation from when it was restored in 1988 in preparation for the original opening of the Large Exhibits Gallery.
We began the conservation treatment and preparation work of this gun today and will continue our work tomorrow between 10am and 12pm. Please come and say hello and ask us questions to find out more about conservation.
If you can’t make it please leave your questions about how we care and conserve exhibits like the 75mm Field Gun in the comments field below, and we’ll do a round-up of answers on the blog later this week.