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Purcell's 20th Century expert, Jon Wright, will be speaking at the Preserving the Recent Past 3 conference in Los Angeles this week. The conference offers a national forum to share the latest strategies for identifying, protecting, and conserving significant structures and sites from the post-World War II era. Preserving the Recent Past 3 will build upon the ground-breaking prior conferences—Preserving the Recent Past (1995), and Preserving the Recent Past 2 (2000)—to address key issues in the preservation of modern historic resources.

Jon will be speaking in the ‘Practice from the European Perspective – Case Studies from the Field’ discussion about Purcell’s work on the Dalle de Verre Lantern at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. 

Additionally, Jon will be speaking at The Phoenix Renewed: Sustainability of Post-War Churches and Cathedrals next week, held at Coventry Cathedral. The conference runs over Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th March and Jon will be presenting the case study of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. 

Purcell was appointed to prepare an application to the First World War Centenary Cathedrals Repair Fund for a comprehensive programme of research into the significance, history, and construction of the cathedral lantern. This was to inform an investigation into the causes of water ingress and finance the production of an Options Appraisal to safeguard the future of this important heritage asset.

It was evident that Frederick Gibberd used pioneering and experimental techniques and materials to create a unique and iconic building. Consideration of the lantern as a significant artwork by Piper and Reyntiens needed to be built into any conservation philosophy. While initial conclusions were drawn and conservation principles established, the lack of conservation precedent made it clear that a longer programme of specialist research was required.

Purcell developed a Conservation Management Plan to inform lantern repair, and fully document the history of the site. Significance was investigated, creating conservation policies and a framework for future care. A detailed repair methodology for the lantern was developed, modelled, and trialled to inform conservation of the lantern, and to contribute to the conservation of Dalle de Verre in epoxy resins generally.

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