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Preservation and Restoration

Sala de conservación


Preservation is an ongoing and integral process for artefacts and is used to prevent deterioration. The preservation work that the museum carries out using its own funds has various aspects:

Environmental Control

Control of temperature and relative humidity in watertight stores, such as in the exhibition rooms.

Infestation Prevention

  • Infestation control, especially in the furniture and textile stores
  • Annual fumigation in the textile stores and in the library
  • A specific example is the treatment of 65 furniture pieces with non-carbonated oxygen in the Instituto Valenciano de Restauración (Valencian Restoration institute) against possible woodworm or general xylophagous insect infestations.
Embalaje de piezas

Handling and Packaging

Control of the items that leave the museum for temporary exhibitions in other centres.

This includes the supervision of the packaging, placement in their exhibition display cabinets and their repackaging and reception in the museum. These tasks are supervised by the designated courier who also controls the lighting and the special conditions that some pieces may require.

Installation of Exhibitions and Storage

Exhibited pieces are checked weekly, especially those that are not in display cabinets, such as furniture and building parts: traditional architecture, gold, stuccowork, paintings etc.

Almacenes de restauración

The storerooms are differentiated according to the materials and type of items, being used for:

  • Glazed Ceramic Tile storage. Situated in the basement, in a large space where treated tiles are stored in cabinets suspended on racks by purpose-made hooks.
  • Furniture Storeroom. These storerooms are exclusively for high quality furniture that are correctly grouped on shelves and are treated against xylophagous insects.
  • Garments Storeroom. The garments and accessories (umbrellas and hats, etc.) are kept in a purposely built storeroom, with map cabinets, mobile storage hooks, hangers and rollers etc.
  • Graphic Art and Painting Storeroom. Paintings are hung on hooks. Engravings and drawings are kept in map cabinets.
  • Ceramics Storeroom. Occupies three floors with shelves to store ceramic pieces and other non- fragile materials.


Installations and Equipment

The National Museum of Ceramics’ restoration laboratory is registered with the museum’s Departamento de Conservación y Restauración (Conservation and Restoration Department). It occupies an area of some 111m2 in rooms located on the third floor of the Palacio de Dos Aguas (Palace of Dos Aguas), with natural light and the latest infrastructure and equipment.

Salas de restauración


The laboratory is responsible for the conservation and restoration of the museum’s collections. Its functions include:

  • Restoration-conservation of the museum’s ceramic collections.
  • Management of the laboratory.
  • Management of restoration-conservation of the other museum’s collections - paintings, graphic documents, textiles, etc.
  • Drafting of conservation reports.
  • Drafting of technical documents for contracting specific restoration projects.
  • Transportation for temporary exhibitions involving the museum.
  • Assessment of damage to collections during transit.
  • Planning of projects and programs.
  • Design, development and application of new materials and innovative techniques to deal with problems with the assembly, reintegration and conservation of the ceramic collections.
José Brel, Selene

Museum restoration work. The antechamber ceiling

From October to December 2018, restoration work was done on the canvas decorating the ceiling of the antechamber of Dos Aguas Palace. This work, called The Night, depicts Selene, the moon, and was painted by José Brel as part of the alterations carried out by the 7th Marquis of Dos Aguas in the mid-19th century.

The Night is not a mural painting. It is a painting on canvas which the artist later affixed to the ceiling using an adhesive, a technique which is referred to by the French term 'marouflage'.

The system by which it is attached to the ceiling has caused ongoing conservation problems. The interaction between the flexible textile support and the rigidity of the wall prevents the layers that make up the painting – preparation, paint layer and protective varnish – from adhering properly.

There can also be adhesion problems between the canvas and the wall, causing blistering. This problem was ongoing, but it was corrected with the intervention prior to the museum's reopening in 1998.

However, today there is serious active cleavage across the entire surface of the work, a lot of cracking and even small areas of loss, leaving the canvas visible. In addition, the wooden mouldings around the canvas detached from the roof at various points, threatening to fall and break.

To prevent further loss and halt the process of deterioration, the museum's conservation department proposed urgent consolidation and readhering work on the paint layers, in collaboration with the Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute (IPCE).

Poster PDF

Information about restoration

Spanish PDF

Valencian PDF

English PDF

Press release PDF