Burpee Repairs Artifacts After Flood

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Back in December, the Burpee Museum suffered a water pipe break and flooding in its basement causing damage to hundreds of bones, artifacts and rare taxidermy.

Now, restoration begins on those pieces.

Even though the flood is in the past, the museum is in for a long journey ahead to fix all of its damaged antiques.

Burpee is working with a taxidermist out of Harvard, Illinois to repair its rare and exotic animals.

The building has received its work with new carpet, floors and paint, but there's still a lot of work to do.

The museum is sending each piece to Harvard one by one to get fixed whether they need new skins or new mounts or need to be completely redone.

Burpee employees say its still a sad scene in the basement.

"It's still a little heartbreaking when you're looking at some of the specimens and see the damage to things that can never be replaced," said Burpee Executive Director Maureen Mall. "It's hard. All of the heavy lifting has been done, all of the birds are back in place and everything's back in this temperature controlled environment where all of the damage can now be stabilized."

Mall says right now they are working on a leopard, a grey wolf and two full mount lions, which need new ears and paws.

She expects everything to be finished in a few years, but, unfortunately, Mall says not all of the museum's artifacts can be restored.

Next up on the list of work to be redone is their anthropology and Native American collections, which were assessed by crews at Beloit College.


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