Speaker: Dr Holly Jones - Amin, conservation team leader.

This is Loong, long means dragon, and he's the oldest imperialdragon in the world. Loong belongs to the Bendigo Chinese

Association and he's here in the Golden Dragon Museum. He marks people's lives.

He marks people's time in their lives, and we've met many people since we've been here.

Working in the museum, people that have walked past while we're working and said I carried him when I was 16 years old. And people people here love Loong and I've never come across anything like Loong ever before. Something that marks time in people's lives like this is what we'd call immovable heritage. It might be a church or a structure, or a bridge, or a house, but Loong’s none of those things.

Loong is an organic long dragonthat for quite a long time of his life was packed up between use.

Speaker: Doug Lougoon, President of Benidigo Chinese Association.

Loong made his first appearance in Bendigo in 1901 and the Easter parade and subsequently was taken to Melbourne to celebrate the Federation of Australia in Spring Street. Loong went on to parade over many many years until 1970.

Loong came out of retirement in 2001 to celebrate the centenary of Federation in Melbourne and again in 2012 to continue that long standing tradition of the Bendigo Chinese Association raising funds for local hospitals, which dates back to the gold rush. We have such a long, unbroken tradition of Dragons in Bendigo, and of course Loong is very central to the Chinese culture and traditions of Bendigo.

Loong is challenging for the sheer scale and size of working on him. What we're doing is we're conserving him. We are applying small amounts of material to make him last longer when we finish our conservation work.

The elements that are currently fragile, not secure or prone to falling off or ripping will be stabilised.

Speaker: Marcia Music, conservator  - objects.

As an organization, Grimwade Conservation services have been looking into three areas of sustainability and they are water, energy and waste and how we can reduce our impact and our carbon footprint in those areas.

When this case on the Loong conservation project we're using two adhesives, one from the land which is wheat starch and one from the sea, which is Furnari, which is derived from seaweed, and those two materials have been selected. But only because they're they're great aging properties and longevity, but also because they're conservation safe.

Speaker: Isabel Walker, student.

This has been a wonderful experience as a student because I've been able to work in a museum environment on an object and especially an object like this that's so special to the whole community.

Here I was lucky enough to come up for the first Sprint where we were working with the Bendigo Chinese Association volunteers to clean all of the scales and remove the dust from long and then thistime I've been able to adhere loose parts of the scales so the decals and the cardboard that's come loose and I've also been able to learn some stitching techniques that will be used on the silk when we come back.

Getting to work with the team at Grimwade Conservation Services has been such a wonderful experience. The whole team is so giving of their knowledge and I'm just so thankful to have been part of this.

End transcript.

Page last updated: 08/02/23