As for isolating an object, Metro mentioned a small champagne glass, a Greek antiquity piece, at the Getty. "The shape is relatively tipsy," he said, "and it could fall over by itself. So, we attached it to a thick flat piece of Plexiglas that is covered with fabric, and so it looks like it's in a nice little box. . . .
"On a more complicated scale," he continued, "we have engineered entire systems to isolate a full-sized sculpture. We have full-sized marble statues that are very old and with many ancient breaks, which if they were secured rigidly to the building would probably break at the ankles and fall over" in the event of an earthquake.
"Concealed in the pedestal is an isolation system which consists of a concave bowl either anchored to the floor or to the pedestal. A spring-loaded pin is forced into the bowl. On the end of the pin is a steel roller, and the entire pedestal is also on steel roller, like a captive steel ball. There would be six or eight of these to distribute the weight around.
"When the earthquake comes and the floor moves, the pedestal on the rollers moves and the spring-loaded pin pushes into the concave bowl. As the pin rides up the sides, an equal amount of pressure increases as the spring is compressed."