Innovative and Affordable Service for the Preventive Conservation Monitoring of Individual Cultural Artefacts during Display, Storage, Handling, and Transport.


Researchers from the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (ITACA), the Department of Applied Physics (DFA), the Instituto Universitario de Restauración del Patrimonio (IRP) and the Materials Technological Institute (ITM) of the Universitat Politècnica de València led the project CollectionCare: Innovative and Affordable Service for the Preventive Conservation Monitoring of Individual Cultural Artefacts during Display, Storage, Handling, and Transport within the framework of the Horizon2020 Innovative Action—Industrial Sustainability program under grant agreement No 814624. The project, which was granted with nearly 6M € for a period of three years, aims to develop an affordable system for the preventive conservation of cultural artefacts of museums and small-to-medium size collections that often cannot count on a sophisticated environmental control systems or on qualified personnel to maintain them.

The innovation is based on the combination of the latest advances in sensor electronics, wireless communications, material degradation models, big data and cloud computing. An IoT device is attached to a cultural artefact that continually monitors the environmental conditions of each piece of artwork at any given time and place, either during exhibition, storage, handling or transport. This information is stored and analysed in the cloud with advanced multi-material degradation models that allow users to estimate the evolution of degradation and to suggest preventive conservation guidelines. In addition to the development of a prototype for environmental control, the project plans to carry out numerous activities to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our cultural heritage in different sectors of society.

A consortium formed by 18 partners from Spain, France, Greece, Holland, Italy, Poland, Latvia, Denmark and Belgium brought together five universities and research centres (Uniwersytet Warszawski, Sapienza Università di Roma, Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademis Skoler For Arkitektur, Design Og Konservering, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences, and Latvijas Valsts koksnes ķīmijas institūts), six partners between small-medium sized museums, collections and institutions that own museums (Diputación Foral de Álava, The Ethnographic Open Air Museum of Latvia, Institut Valencià de Cultura, Koninklijke Musea Voor Kunst En Geschiedenis, Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, and The Royal Danish Collection), two technology companies (Sigfox and Atos Spain SA), one cultural management company (PostScriptum Communication Informatics), one conservation-restoration company (CBC Conservazione Beni Culturali), and one shipping company (Van Kralingen BV).

A group of relevant experts and specialists from relevant institutions in preventive conservation, such as the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), Smithsonian Institution, ICOMOS Spain, the Rijksmuseum, and the Art division of the AXA insurance company form the Advisory Board.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 814624. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

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