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Klutz's vase damage not irreparable

UPI News Service, 03/30/2006 

Three 300-year-old Qing dynasty vases that were smashed at a British museum when a man tripped on stairs and dislodged them, are not beyond repair.

At a news conference in Cambridge, officials at the Fitzwilliam Museum said Wednesday they had hired Penny Bendall, one of Britain's leading ceramic conservators, to repair the shattered vases for between $10,000 and $17,000.

Restoration should take about nine months, The Telegraph reported.

In January, visitor Nick Flynn tripped on his shoelace and tumbled down the stairs, knocking down the ornate vases from a landing window ledge.

Small shards were later found 28 steps away and it took staff three days to photograph, clear up, label and carefully place the fragments in 24 large trays. The vases are valued around $850,000.

A news crew had invited Flynn, 42, to the news conference, but the museum's director, Duncan Robinson, hurried to the door and told Flynn the event was not open to the public, the newspaper said.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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