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Low cost device for diagnosis and preventive conservation of works of art


The Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) leads CollectionCare, a European project whose main objective is the development of a new low-cost and high-performance device that helps the diagnosis and preventive conservation of works of art.

The system, which combines the latest advances in sensor electronics, wireless communications, material degradation models, big data and cloud computing, is designed primarily for museums and collections of small and medium size that can not have sophisticated systems of environmental control or qualified personnel for microclimatic analysis and their identification to the study of degradation models of works of art.

Ángel Perles, researcher at the Institute of Information Technologies and Communications (ITACA) of the UPV and coordinator of the project, explains the device, “coupled with the artwork, will continuously monitor its environmental conditions (relative humidity, temperature, light and contamination) during its exposure, storage, handling or transport. This information will be processed in the cloud applying predictive models that could estimate the evolution of the degradation from the quality of measuring preventive measures in case of risk to the artwork. “.

In addition to the ITACA Institute, the UPV team is also composed of research staff from the Department of Applied Physics, the University Institute of Heritage Restoration (IRP) and the Institute of Materials Technology (ITM).

17 partners from 9 countries

Together with them, 16 other partners from Spain, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Latvia, Denmark and Belgium participate. Specifically, five universities and research centers, six museums and/or collections – among which are the Valencian Institute of Culture and the Restoration Service of the Provincial Council of Álava-; two technology companies and three others from the artistic sector.

The project also has an advisory council formed by specialists from the most relevant institutions at the international level, in the field of preventive conservation, such as the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM ), the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), the Smithsonian Institution, ICOMOS Spain, the Rijksmuseum and the art division of the AXA insurance company.

A budget of more than 6 million euros

Together with the development of the prototype for environmental control, the project plans to carry out numerous activities to sensitize different sectors of society about the importance of cultural heritage protection.

The CollectionCare project has received funding from the H2020 Research and Innovation Program of the European Union through grant agreement No. 814624.

Source: UPV’s Information Office