It seems that healing aches and pains, poor digestion, and menstrual cramps are not the only ills being treated with acupuncture needles. The hair thin staple of acupuncturists worldwide is also playing a role in art restoration.
According to the NY Times, last week a woman fell at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and instead of breaking her wrist, she broke a painting, and an expensive one at that. When the woman fell, she put a 6” tear into “The Actor”, a rare Picasso painted during the artist’s early rose Period around 1904-05.
The painting now lives in the Met’s conservation laboratory, while the experts figure out how best to restore the painting. What’s interesting about this whole Picasso assault is that it’s happened before. In 2006, Stephen Wynn, Las Vegas casino and hotel owner stuck his elbow through a Picasso, called “Le Reve” (the Dream), a painting that Wynn owned. The painting has since been restored so expertly that apparently the tear is undetectable.
One of the tools the restorers used to put “Le Reve” back together was acupuncture needles to keep the tear flat. This fact speaks both to the resourcefulness of really good art restorers, but also the nature of acupuncture needles.
Because they are not hollow, acupuncture needles can come in ridiculously tiny gauges (diameters) and the finer the gauge, the more pliable and unobtrusive the needle, which makes it useful for restoring art and for inserting into people painlessly.
If you are one of those people who have thought about having acupuncture, but hesitate to do so because you think it’s painful; think again. Acupuncture needles are fine enough to painlessly repair a Picasso, and they are also fine enough to repair your health.