The removal process itself is well in hand and we've recently had some really helpful advice from our colleagues working on the Staffordshire hoard. Essentially this is to refrain from any cleaning until we have had all possible analytical work done. This will obviously cause some delay in our displaying this material but it may dramatically increase the information we can learn from the hoard.
We have now completed our up-to-date laser scan of the hoard surface (which records the position of the jewellery to a fraction of a millimeter) and removed the bulk of the surrounding coins that lock them into position. From tomorrow we will remove the last obstructing coins and then gently loosen and remove the items. They will then be photographed, sketched and anything of note about them will be recorded. Once this is done, and while still keeping them damp, we will remove samples of material from their hollow centres. They will also be X-rayed in order to reveal more about their cross sections and hopefully to reveal any internal structures. The decision will then be made as to whether it's safe to dry them prior to further analysis and cleaning over the coming months. All of this will be done in the La Hougue Bie lab and the site is being re-opened for the week from the 21st to the 27th, 10-4pm so that people can come up and see it all happen.