Preventive conservation at the Louviers museum

Between 1986 and 1994, the creation of a "museum of theatre, opera and film sets" involved storing the whole of the museum’s collections (paintings and graphic works, faience and sculptures, archaeological and ethnographical objects and textiles) in former exhibition rooms which were unsuitable for conservation purposes, being vulnerable to leaks, moulds and pests.
In 1995, when the museum was reorganised around its original collections, their state of conservation and storage conditions made it impossible to present them to the public.
It was therefore decided to progressively transfer the collections from the old storerooms to a new, external storage site which satisfied preventive conservation norms and allowed the museum to remain open.

The preventive conservation programme carried out on the Louviers museum collections began in 1999. This operation was highly significant in the history of the museum, as it laid the foundations for the restructuration of the establishment with a view to future renovation.

This project, which was largely supported by the DRAC of Upper Normandy, made the Municipal Museum of Louviers a pioneer in the field of preventive conservation - and particularly in the use of nitrogen anoxia treatment for pest eradication.

The current storerooms, occupying some 300 m2, are equipped with a ventilation system and suction device for outside air which is filtered and heated. The temperature is maintained at around 18 ¡C. Humidity is stabilised between 50% and 55% with humidifiers and dehumidifiers, positioned all around the storerooms. The museum’s conservation team keeps a constant check on the stability of the climate with thermohygrographs.
All the works entering the storerooms are inspected, dusted and treated for pests if necessary.