Preservation is an ongoing and integral process for artefacts and is used to prevent deterioration. The preservation work that the museum carries out using its own funds has various aspects:
Control of temperature and relative humidity in watertight stores, such as in the exhibition rooms.
Control of the items that leave the museum for temporary exhibitions in other centres.
This includes the supervision of the packaging, placement in their exhibition display cabinets and their repackaging and reception in the museum. These tasks are supervised by the designated courier who also controls the lighting and the special conditions that some pieces may require.
Installation of Exhibitions and Storage
Exhibited pieces are checked weekly, especially those that are not in display cabinets, such as furniture and building parts: traditional architecture, gold, stuccowork, paintings etc.
The storerooms are differentiated according to the materials and type of items, being used for:
The National Museum of Ceramics’ restoration laboratory is registered with the museum’s Departamento de Conservación y Restauración (Conservation and Restoration Department). It occupies an area of some 111m2 in rooms located on the third floor of the Palacio de Dos Aguas (Palace of Dos Aguas), with natural light and the latest infrastructure and equipment.
The laboratory is responsible for the conservation and restoration of the museum’s collections. Its functions include:
From October to December 2018, restoration work was done on the canvas decorating the ceiling of the antechamber of Dos Aguas Palace. This work, called The Night, depicts Selene, the moon, and was painted by José Brel as part of the alterations carried out by the 7th Marquis of Dos Aguas in the mid-19th century.
The Night is not a mural painting. It is a painting on canvas which the artist later affixed to the ceiling using an adhesive, a technique which is referred to by the French term 'marouflage'.
The system by which it is attached to the ceiling has caused ongoing conservation problems. The interaction between the flexible textile support and the rigidity of the wall prevents the layers that make up the painting – preparation, paint layer and protective varnish – from adhering properly.
There can also be adhesion problems between the canvas and the wall, causing blistering. This problem was ongoing, but it was corrected with the intervention prior to the museum's reopening in 1998.
However, today there is serious active cleavage across the entire surface of the work, a lot of cracking and even small areas of loss, leaving the canvas visible. In addition, the wooden mouldings around the canvas detached from the roof at various points, threatening to fall and break.
To prevent further loss and halt the process of deterioration, the museum's conservation department proposed urgent consolidation and readhering work on the paint layers, in collaboration with the Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute (IPCE).
Information about restoration