Modern Science To Study Secrets Behind Medieval Stained Glass

Date: 5 April 2007

Modern technology will be used to unlock the secrets of the world's largest expanse of stained glass.

Craftsmen are currently undertaking the painstaking job of repairing the glass from York Minster's Great East Window, which spans the dimensions of a tennis court, as part of the Minster's £30m development campaign.

Academics are taking the opportunity to study the stained glass while it is being renovated in the hope of obtaining valuable evidence about its composition which could help conservation work across the world.

Prof Ian Freestone, of Cardiff University's School of History and Archaeology, is overseeing the research project to study the origins, composition and corrosion of the glass.

Cardiff academics are working alongside colleagues in the Department of the History of Art at York University for the study, which is being funded through a £130,000 grant from the Leverhulme Trust.

Prof Freestone said: "The dismantling of the Great East Window provides us with a unique opportunity for study. We hope to learn how the make-up of the glass affects the rate of deterioration.

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