Externado Alumni: The Guardians of Bolivar’s Sword

Four experts in Conservation and Restoration of Movable Cultural Heritage of our alma mater worked for more than 45 days. They worked on the preparations of the transfer of Bolivar’s Sword during the inauguration of the president, Gustavo Petro, to the Plaza de Bolívar.

Paola López, Lina Castillo, Eugenia Serpa, and Isabel Cristina Quintero (alumni from the Faculty of Cultural Heritage Studies) were involved. They participated in the step-by-step process of transferring the sable that belonged to the liberator, Simon Bolívar, in the best conditions possible. Officials from other entities such as the Bank of the Republic, the Casa Museo ‘Quinta de Bolívar’ and the Ministry of Culture were also involved.

The work of the conservators-renovators was meticulous. The Sword’s transfer had a detailed plan, which covered handling and conservation measures that had to be considered during the whole process to guarantee the preservation and protection of the piece.

“The sword has deteriorations associated with all its transfers during its historical trajectory. That is why, handling recommendations are made. For example, wearing special gloves, ensuring that the temperature and relative humidity are consistent for its conservation, and guaranteeing the appropriate conditions to preserve both wood and metal,” affirmed Paola López, conservationist and registrar of the Casa Museo ‘Quinta de Bolívar’.

The professionals had to guarantee that any possible risks arising during the transfer of the piece were covered. For this, they checked the cushioning of the urn in which the Sword was being transported and all the materials in case of impact. This was so that any blow could be absorbed, and its conservation would not be compromised.

“I also participated in the whole registration process. Legal follow-up was in place. We worked with the legal and contracts area of the Ministry of Culture, on minute-by-minute planning of the transfer: from the exit point in the House of Nariño to the entry point in the Plaza de Bolívar. It was something supremely detailed. We had registered everything to detect possible risks in the transfer process,” assured Paola Lopez.

Although many working days were needed, the experts were delighted to be participating in a socially important event: an object that has special meaning for the Nation came to life and was given value.

The work of the professionals in Conservation and Restoration of Movable Cultural Heritage is very important to ‘guarantee that cultural heritage has a cohesive function in the social fabric’. In this way, it will manage to reach future generations.

Universidad Externado de Colombia congratulates the alumni of the Cultural Heritage Studies Faculty for the dedication and passion that is shown through their work. Likewise, we thank their valuable contribution to the preservation of the cultural patrimony of our country.

Matricúlese en la Facultad de Estudios del Patrimonio Cultural