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GREENART – Green Approaches to Art Restoration

A typical remedial conservation cleaning process requires solvents, gels or emulsions some of which may not be in line with current environmental sustainability requirements.
Photo by: Matija Strlič

Publish Date: 20.10.2022

Category: Interdisciplinary research, Our contribution to sustainable development goals

Sustainable development goals: 11 Sustainable cities and communities, 12 Responsible consumption and production, 13 Climate action (Indicators)

Maintenance and preservation of cultural heritage are crucial to the required reduction of risks caused by unfavourable environmental conditions as a consequence of climate change. However, traditional and also some contemporary materials and techniques of remedial and preventive conservation may not be entirely sustainable, e.g. they may be the result of energy-consuming production processes or non-environmentally friendly materials, such as petroleum-based solvents.

GREENART will research and propose new and improved solutions, based on green and sustainable materials and methods, to preserve cultural heritage in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals and the requirements of The European Green Deal.

As part of the 3-year project, starting in October 2023, a team of researchers from the Heritage Science Laboratory of the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, led by prof. dr. Matije Strlič will evaluate the environmental footprint of storage solutions. The housing materials in such environments can range from cardboard to polythene, polypropylene to crates, and the pros and cons of these solutions along with the conservation requirements (e.g. lifetime extension) needs to be assessed in order to develop an understanding of cost and benefits and in order to model the whole life-cycle of not only the storage enclosures but also of the objects being stored.

Nowadays, collection storage and the provision of suitable environmental conditions in the long-term represent significant proportions of energy budgets of heritage institutions. Improved storage solutions that require less environmental control would represent a major advantage and lead to more sustainable long-term care. Within the GreenArt project, the team of prof. dr. Matija Strlič will explore these in collaboration with the German company Zentrum für Bucherhaltung from Leipzig.

gfhFig. 1: Example of high-density archival storage with objects stored in cardboard boxes. Photo by: Matija Strlič

The Greenart project is funded through the Horizon Europe Framework Programme (grant no 101060941) and the project team, including University of Ljubljana, will be led by the Center for Colloid and Surface Science of the University of Florence, Italy, as well as 26 other partners, as diverse as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA), Tate Gallery (London, UK), University of Tokyo (Japan) and Sichuan University (China).






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