Nic Lee


+44 (0)20 7323 8469


Before joining the British Museum, Nic attended Winchester School of Art and Cardiff College of Art, specialising in Fine Art Painting (1977). After working at the Tate Gallery for a year as an art handler, he joined the British Museum in 1978, specialising in the conservation of stone, wall paintings and mosaic artefacts. He was appointed studio manager in 1987 and Head of Section in 2005.

Nic’s main role now is to manage the stone, wall paintings and mosaics conservation section and facsimile service, making sure that it meets the current and long term needs of the Museum in the conservation and replication of the collection. He is particularly interested in assessing and preparing objects for loan around the world, and devising practical conservation treatments for deteriorated Egyptian limestone objects.

Current projects

Back to Nature? Geologically-informed consolidation techniques for conserving stone artefacts in museum collections.

Previous projects

Played a key practical role in evaluating the use of silanes for the treatment of limestone objects in an advanced state of deterioration

Team leader for the excavation and conservation of a Romano- British Window, Meonstoke Hampshire

Team member for the examination and conservation of the Rosetta Stone

Actively participated in a number of British Museum international loans such as Eternal Egypt and Art and Empire as the conservator responsible for collections care

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

Member of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

Recent publications

NJ Lee, D Thickett and SM Bradley, Assessment of the Performance of Silane Treatments Applied to Egyptian Limestone Sculptures Displayed in a Museum Environment. Proceedings from the 9th International Congress on the Conservation and Deterioration of Stone, Venice, (ICOMOS, 2000)

NJ Lee, RK Uprichard and D Thickett, The Rebacking of Mosaics in the British Museum. The Conservator, Volume 24, (London, UKIC, 2000)

NJ Lee, EG Miller, RK Uprichard and SV Daniels, The Examination and Conservation of the Rosetta Stone. Proceedings of the IIC Conference Tradition and Innovation: Advances in Conservation, Melbourne (IIC, 2000)

NJ Lee, SB Hanna, The Consequences of Previous Adhesives and Consolidants used for Stone Conservation at the British Museum. Early Advances in Conservation (London, BMP, 1988)

NJ Lee, SB Hanna and GB Foster, Three Bodhisattvas: The Dismantling and Conservation of a Large 15th Century Chinese Wall painting. Proceedings of The United Kingdom Institute for Conservation 30th Anniversary Conference (London, UKIC, 1988)

NJ Lee, EG Miller, and RR Ellam, Remounting and Conservation of Archaeological Wall paintings at the British Museum. Recent Advances in the Conservation and Analysis of Artefacts, Institute of Archaeology Jubilee conference (London, Summer Schools Press, 1987)