On a daily work basis, conservation involves both intervention treatments and preventive conservation, as well as the production of condition reports, packing, transporting and installing objects lent or borrowed by the museum.
The fundamental mission of the Ariana’s conservation studio is to preserve the collections and ensure public understanding of them through treatments that respect the historical and aesthetic integrity of the objects.
Conservation work covers several areas of activity:
Monitoring and preventive conservation
Heritage collections are particularly fragile and the museum must guarantee their long-term preservation. To achieve this, it must ensure optimal conservation conditions, even though this is sometimes difficult in a historic building. The role of the conservator is therefore to optimize storage and display conditions wherever possible, and to periodically monitor objects in order to detect any changes in their condition.
Preparation of objects
For temporary exhibitions and external loans, the conservator makes sure that objects are in a condition to be moved and considers how this may be best achieved. They must also check that the proposed display conditions are not likely to damage the items, either in the short or long term. The preparation of objects for display generally involves packing them for transportation using appropriate materials. If necessary, interventive conservation treatments may sometimes be carried out, which mainly involve dusting and cleaning.
An object should only undergo interventive treatment once its historical, cultural and artistic values have been ascertained, so that these are not modified by the conservation process. An understanding of the material composition of the piece is vital in order to select appropriate treatment methods. A thorough examination of the object is consequently a prerequisite for any intervention. We place a great deal of importance on the study of its constituent materials, the techniques used and its condition. If required, analyses can be carried out in partnership with specialized laboratories to add to our understanding of the piece. Any conservation treatment of heritage artefacts must meet certain basic requirements: legibility and reversibility of treatment, the stability of the materials employed and their safety for the object. The conservator respects the established international ethical standards.