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Culture Nivel C1

MOMA CLEAN ITS GREAT WORKS WITH SALIVA

Dust is the worst enemy in the preservation of art treasures however saliva is an unexpected ally.


This is one of the main revelations in the new audio-guide on the maintenance of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) realized by artist Nina Katchadourian.

Katchadourian had met with several specialists that are responsible for delicate task to preserve and clean some of the most important works in the word, which are exhibited at MoMA.

Artists discovered that among others works, Vase with flowers by Pablo Picasso, that is exhibited for years on walls of the museum, was cleaned using saliva, a method that although is endorsed by experts surprises newcomers.

“Its composition is very effective for being composed of water in a 90% and others agents and minerals”, Anny Aviram, expert in the task that is working in MoMA for more than 40 years, affirms.

“Sometimes, it is difficult to talk on this procedure because it has many humorous connotations”, admits Aviram, who adds that “sometimes”, they clean dust on works with their own saliva, although they named it “enzymatic solution”.

Cleaning with saliva

“First, we are going to wipe with a cotton swab with saliva and after other dry cotton swab to remove dirt”, specialist explains and noted that it is a slow method because “you can’t be eight hours cleaning with saliva, it is used up”.

“Besides, your saliva is no valid at any time for working, it depends on what you have eaten”, she adds.

Aviram has cleaned dust on three Picassos with high dimensions with her own saliva, a labour that lasted months for each case, she notes.

Californian artist Nina Katchadourian received commission of doing an audio-guide on museum focused on prevention of the works and at once, she realized that speaking will be focused on main element: dust.

“I was interested in many facets of the dust, as an element that goes into to museum, as result of the 12,000 people that visits it daily and the fact of that at end we became dust”, she explains.

During several months, multidisciplinary artist had a passage without restrictions for all areas in the museum and also she met with artists and experts, responsible for the maintenance and cleaning in the building too.


New York, October 26, 2016, EFE/Practica Español


Grammar notes:  direct and indirect speech


Comprensión del texto C.1 (Comprehension C.1)

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Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
¿De qué trata la noticia?
A
Una artista realiza una audioguía sobre el mantenimiento de las obras en el MoMA.
B
Una artista realiza una audioguía para explicar la inusual utilización del polvo en el MoMA.
C
Una artista realiza un trabajo sobre cómo los visitantes deben preservar las obras del MoMA.
Question 2
¿Cuál es el tema principal de esa audioguía?
A
El polvo.
B
Los empleados del MoMA limpian a todas horas las obras con su saliva.
C
Los expertos han descubierto una nueva forma de limpiar las grandes obras de arte.
Question 3
¿A quiénes puede sorprender que se utilice la saliva para limpiar cuadros?
A
A los expertos de obras de arte.
B
A las personas que se estén iniciando en la conservación de obras de arte.
C
A todos los restauradores de obras de arte.
Question 4
Algunos cuadros de Pablo Picasso han sido limpiados con saliva.
A
Verdadero.
B
No se sabe.
C
Falso.
Question 5
¿Cuál es una de las mayores preocupaciones del MoMA?
A
El tipo de dieta que tienen las personas que limpian las grandes obras con su saliva.
B
Las personas que limpian las obras de arte no se queden sin saliva.
C
Conseguir una temperatura y una humedad óptima para las obras de arte.
Question 6
¿Se suele bromear sobre el polvo en el MoMA?
A
No se sabe.
B
Sí.
C
No.
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