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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 13:44 GMT
Smashed vases go back on display
A specially-designed case has been made for the vases

Three 17th Century Chinese porcelain vases accidentally smashed when a museum visitor tripped are back on public display after being restored.

The porcelain vases, from the Qing Dynasty, were broken in January 2006 when Nick Flynn crashed into them at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

Specialist ceramic restorer Penny Bendall, from Suffolk, took six months to restore the pieces.

They will now be housed in a specially designed case.

Before they were smashed, the vases had been on display for 60 years in a window recess on the staircase of the museum.

Broken pieces
The vases were broken into hundreds of pieces

They were smashed into hundreds of pieces when Mr Flynn tripped over his shoelace.

The initial clear-up operation took two-and-a-half days.

The restoration work has involved taping all the pieces together and then binding them with a special adhesive before a final polish and coating of enamel.

The three vases are part of a set of five with an estimated value of between 200,000 and 300,000.



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It took two days to pick up the pieces of the shattered 17th Century vases



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