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Excessive organic acid gases found in display case of national treasures

A display case from which high levels of organic acid gases were detected is seen at the museum attached to the Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, on April 16, 2018. (Mainichi)

KASHIHARA, Nara -- Organic acid gasses found in a display case that contains national treasures at a museum here greatly exceed national standards for the substances, museum officials said.

    According to the museum attached to the Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, there is the threat that the artifacts of the Fujinoki tomb in the town of Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, contained in the case could deteriorate and the museum is considering taking countermeasures.

    The museum detected formic acid and acetic acid, which cause metal to rust, when it conducted examinations from fiscal 2013 to 2016. Formic acid levels stood at 2,857 micrograms per cubic meter, about 140 times over the limit the Agency for Cultural Affairs recommends. Acetic acid levels stood at 8,343 micrograms per cubic meter, about 20 times larger than the limit.

    The display case was built before the Agency for Cultural Affairs recommended the limits on organic acid levels. Museum officials point to the possibility that the gases are coming from adhesive used on the case's plywood.

    (Japanese original by Hiroshi Fujiwara, Kashihara Local Bureau)

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