Dallas Museum of Art

DMA ‘Optimistic' About Repairing Objects Damaged In Break-In

After four ceramics were broken during a burglary, museum conservators face a difficult question: Obscure signs of damage or acknowledge them as part of the objects’ history?

NBC 5 News

Nearly a month after the Dallas Museum of Art suffered a break-in that left four ceramic objects shattered, a piece of good news emerged: “Everything has been saved,” said the head of the museum’s conservation team, Fran Baas, “even the smallest of fragments.”

The DMA’s conservation experts responded “almost immediately after the incident” to assess, document and retrieve the wreckage, Baas said in an emailed statement. Saving all of the pieces “involved treating the galleries almost as an ‘archeological dig,’ gridding out the entire area where the incident took place so we could group the fragments and identify which of the four ceramic objects they belonged to,” said Baas, who took over the museum’s conservation team on an interim basis in 2019.

Pieces of the four broken objects — three ancient Greek ceramics and a contemporary Native American sculpture — now lie in storage trays. There is no date set for the objects’ return to the DMA’s galleries, and questions about museum security continue to swirl. But Baas said her team is “optimistic about the potential for restoration.” The conservators, she added, are “now at a point of pausing, reflecting and having discussions with the DMA’s curatorial and leadership teams” before diving into repairs.

For more of this story, visit The Dallas Morning News.

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