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Active & intelligent PAckaging materials and display cases as a tool for preventive conservation of Cultural Heritage.

Project description

New technology to better preserve old artefacts

Prevention is better than a cure, but for the preservation of cultural heritage this is no easy task. Degradation of movable tangible cultural heritage can be significantly increased by disadvantageous and unstable climate conditions, light and pollution. The purpose of preventive conservation is to avoid and minimise future degradation and loss of cultural heritage. The EU-funded APACHE project will develop new tools to control and prevent such degradation. These will focus on multiscale materials modelling to predict degradation of art-related materials as well as wireless sensors to provide a smart, user friendly and low-cost system to detect an unsuitable microclimate. Also, including pollution absorbents and temperature and humidity regulators will compensate fluctuations.


Most Cultural Heritage objects housed by museums are often stored under unsuitable climate conditions. APACHE will develop a cutting edge technology to control and prevent the degradation of such patrimony. The novel approach is based on three pillars: 1) advanced sensing and absorbing materials to control the artifacts’ environment; 2) modeling to define the threshold of artifacts’ degradation and to discriminate between the need for preventive or remedial conservation; 3) remote control of the works of art stressors. The unique combination of these pillars will reduce to the lowest possible level the costs actually required by conventional technology for art conservation. New generation of active and intelligent display cases, crates, and storage boxes, will be implemented thanks to: i) The unique APACHE partnership, comprising the most important experts in the three aforementioned pillars; ii) The development of easy-to-use sensing devices able to communicate through Wireless Sensor Networks and Radio Frequency Identification Devices thanks to Industry 4.0-5.0 ICT technologies, granting the optimal environmental conditions around the art objects. Multiscale models integrated in an open simulation environment will be used to predict the degradation of artefacts and set the properties of sensors (detection limits) and polyfunctional absorbents. APACHE includes small, medium, and large museums exhibiting representative variety of display and storage conditions. For instance, the Venice Peggy Guggenheim Collection features one of the most important collections of modern/contemporary art, which experiences highly unfavorable environmental conditions, difficult to control with conventional tools. Centre Pompidou and National Museum of Hungary possess a vast amount of artefacts stored in deposits (e.g. in crates and boxes). Moreover, a decision-making tool composed by a modular set of decision trees will be offered to end-users to guide them through the best solutions.

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Net EU contribution
€ 713 064,15
50019 Firenze

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Centro (IT) Toscana Firenze
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 713 064,15

Participants (27)