Posted: 4:57 p.m. Monday, April 30, 2012

Experts delicately restore 'Gone With the Wind' artifacts after fire

Gone With the Wind restoration
Workers with Lenora Weaver Restoration work to restore several items of Gone With the Wind memorabilia after a fire ripped through a warehouse where the items were being stored.

DECATUR, Ga. —

After a fire destroyed a storage facility housing irreplaceable items from a "Gone With the Wind" museum, restoration experts have begun the tedious process of trying to restore the items to their former glory.

Channel 2's Jeff Dore got a behind-the-scenes look at what was damaged and how it is being fixed at the Tara Museum in downtown Jonesboro.

The Atlanta premiere of "Gone With the Wind" was one of the biggest things to hit Atlanta since Sherman burned down the town.

With tragic irony, fire tore through a Henry County storage unit in February that housed the overflow collection of movie memorabilia for the Tara Museum.

Insurers rushed what was left of the collection to the Decatur studio of Leonora Weaver, who is an expert in restoration.

The collection included posters, photos, prints and articles. Some of it was wrinkled and stained, even stuck together.

"How do you get two things apart without ruining them?" Dore asked Weaver.

"Carefully," Weaver said. "Slowly, Patiently."

"How slowly?" Dore asked.

"Millimeters at a time," Weaver said.

Weaver is from an old Atlanta family and lived in England during her formative years.

"I was domiciled and educated as a young English girl," Weaver said.

Weaver said she apprenticed with restoration masters in London, learning tools, techniques and patience.

When she and her crew are done, they'll have memorabilia up to museum standards, she said.

Weaver said the challenge then will be finding room to display them.
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Channel 2's Jeff Dore contributed to this article

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