Preventive conservation, which developed in the 1980s, is the set of measures taken and actions which influence the environment of works of art to try to slow down the effects of time and to prolong the life of our cultural inheritance.
The aim of preventive conservation is above all to anticipate possible deterioration but also to reduce to a minimum the changes to which works are subjected as a result of temperature variations, differences in humidity levels, transport-related vibrations, repeated handling, etc.
Preventive conservation controls the immediate surroundings of the works (environmental monitoring) as well as their means of storage (storerooms, showcases…) and conditions of transport (packing, arrangement/storage of objects…).
The unit is also consulted for the creation of temporary or permanent exhibitions in collaboration with the various sections of the Musées d’Art et d’Histoire as well as by other public institutions (showcase design, passive conditioning…).
Often through ignorance, we contribute unknowingly to the deterioration of our heritage. Preventive conservation measures and techniques enable us to act in favour of our cultural assets.