Bristol

Briswool: Giant woollen version of Bristol frozen

Briswool in Vicky's shop 2014
Image caption Briswool now measures 6m by 4.5m since it was last displayed in 2014 and has used "hundreds and hundreds" of balls of wool

A giant woollen version of Bristol is being frozen to fend off a possible insect infestation.

The collection of hot air balloons, buildings and felt foxes - dubbed Briswool - is being placed in museum freezers ahead of an exhibition in May.

Curator Catherine Littlejohns said the "precautionary measure" was against their "main foes - moths and beetles".

More than 250 knitters and crocheters are involved in the three-year project, started by artist Vicky Harrison.

Ms Littlejohns, from Bristol Museum, said freezing was "a non-invasive process" which doesn't harm the objects.

But freezing at very low temperatures kills any larvae, she said.

"When we take [the objects] out and put them on display we know that they are safe, and that there's not going to be any infestation in the museum of our other collections."

Image caption Artist Vicky Harrison said May's exhibition would be the first time "Briswool" has been put together as a whole
Image caption Curator Catherine Littlejohns said items were frozen to kill possible bugs and prevent infestation of any other collections

She said the potential for "infestation and damage" came from the "usual clothes moth and carpet beetle".

"They especially like proteins you find in wool, feathers and skin so we have to be extremely careful that we don't get that sort of thing in the museum and that's why everything is frozen," she said.

Image caption Vicky Harrison said it had taken volunteers "thousands and thousands" of hours to create Briswool

Ms Harrison said she started the process to pack the items for freezing at her house a few months ago.

"We've had to pack everything into giant plastic bags and they all had to be clipped up and labelled, a bit like getting food ready to go in your home freezer."

She said she was "excited" at the prospect of seeing the complete Briswool model laid out together for the first time when it goes on display next month.

"I've only ever seen sections of it - sections of the river or sections of the hills," she said.

Briswool will be on show at the Mshed from 14 May.

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