While waiting for the new display area to be readied, the model will undergo conservation work. The Smithsonian laid out their approach to that in their blog about the move:
The Museum’s general approach emphasizes conservation over preservation and preservation over restoration. Restoration is bringing an object back to its appearance and condition at a determined point in time in the past. With a restoration approach, there is less concern for preserving original materials and more focus on returning to the original specification, often through the addition of non-original materials. Preservation is an overall philosophy that favors keeping original material over creating an ideal physical appearance, while keeping the artifact from deteriorating any more. Conservation follows the preservation philosophy and is minimally invasive, utilizing scientific investigation and techniques to maintain original materials, preserving the object’s physical history of ownership and use.It will be interesting how much they stick to the conservation over restoration, as previous work by the museum did in fact give the ship quite an overhaul. As you can see in some of the images below, the model currently features rather strong grid-lines that weren't present on it before the last time it had conservation work.
|The new look Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall.|
Continue after the jump for a look at the Enterprise's history at the museum.
The Enterprise has been moved, and restored, several times by the museum, starting by reassembling the model after it was delivered:
The Enterprise was hung in a few different locations in early displays, starting in the Life In The Universe exhibition:
In 2000 the Enterprise was moved to the Museum's gift shop, supported from below for the first time to avoid stressing the model. The new display also meant viewers could get a better look at the ship, with it now not only being visible from below.
For more information on the model check out the Smithsonians artefact page, their previous blog on X-Raying the model, and latest blog on the new move. For information about the new display the Enterprise will be a part of, check out the Smithsonian's press release.