A Short but Elaborate Journey

Our European galleries continue to reopen in phases—the Dutch collection opened a few months ago, and the Northern Italian and Spanish galleries have just gone on view, with the rest of the collection to open in the summer. It’s been a complicated process as we overhaul the flow of the space on the Ahmanson Building’s third floor. The latest big change? We needed to move our five massive Assyrian reliefs from one gallery to their new home just around the corner. The panels, which date back to the ninth century BC, weigh one or two tons each. This is the third reinstallation of the reliefs since their acquisition in the 1960s, and probably their fifth journey since their discovery in the nineteenth century. You can imagine how difficult and delicate a process it might be to move them even a few yards. Senior Conservation Photographer Yosi Pozeilov was there to document the big move.

A very stable scaffolding system had to be placed to hold the pulley system that would allow lifting and sliding of the stones in place.

In order to transport the reliefs safely through the hallways of the museum, Dave Carnevale designed and built a special trolley that would both accommodate the size and weight of the panels and fit through the hallways and doorways. Dave is actually the son of the man who originally installed the Assyrian reliefs in their former location about forty years ago!

The reliefs are moved into their new gallery with curators looking on.

The reliefs are installed along their new wall.

As can be seen in this photo, the new galleries are still being renovated. The reliefs will be on view in their new home later in the summer. We’ll keep you posted.

Scott Tennent and Yosi Pozeilov, Senior Conservation Photographer

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