I’ve just spent the last week installing a new Homestead Unit at the National Gallery of Australia. Little did we realize that a stump that I acquired from a, friend who reclaims trees in Idylwild, and then turned into a stool for the homestead, would be ferrying a few boring beetle passengers. The sea air must have rejuvenated the beetles, and when we unpacked the unit in Canberra there was a bunch of sawdust in the packing blanket.
Since Australia is a essentially a giant island with it’s own unique ecosystem they are super strict about marauding pestilence – so a team of conservators worked with Australian Department of Quarantine to assess the invaders and and to check if they had spread to other parts of the artwork or shipping crates. Ultimately it was decided that the stump would spend two weeks in deep freeze chamber that the National Gallery has set up for exactly these sorts of situations.