Laboratoire du Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France (LC2RMF-CNRS), France
The Laboratoire du Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France (CNRS-LC2RMF, Laboratory of the Centre of Research and Restoration of the French Museums) belongs to the Ministry of Culture and is associated to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, National Centre of Scientific Research3) through the UMR 171 (unity of research).
The CNRS-LC2RMF is composed of four departments and about 80 persons work on a wide range of archaeological and art artefacts. Its missions are the implementation, with the curators in charge of collections, of the “Direction des musées de France” policies in regards to research, preventive conservation and restoration. It collects and conserves documentation about materials, techniques and restoration of museum’s works of art. It includes the management of the laboratories and the restoration workshop. Lastly, it takes part in the technical and scientific inspection of the public collections.
In the lab staff, scientists and curators work together for the knowledge and the conservation of cultural heritage, whatever their typology and their composition. The CNRS-LC2RMF is more and more confronted with requests about conservation on plastics objects and must set up a research strategy in this field.
The research department of the CNRS-LC2RMF, set at the Palais du Louvre (Paris), has a large number of analytical facilities such as optical microscopy, SEM, ICP-AES, XRF, surface microtopography, IBA techniques, X-ray diffraction, organic chemistry, mass spectrometry, infrared spectrometry, gas chromatography, TL dating, C14 dating with AMS (etc.). as well as the facilities on the particle accelerator AGLAE (Accélérateur Grand Louvre pour l’Analyse Élémentaire) entirely dedicated to cultural heritage.
Many tools are dedicated to the identification of materials of museum objects. Both organic and some inorganic are well identify by IR-TF and GC-MS and since 3 years by Py-GC-MS and Py-GC-MS for synthetic polymers. While micro-samples are necessary for the chromatographic techniques, the IR-TF equipment has a configuration that allows the study of objects without sampling. Currently some vinyl, acrylic and polyurethane materials can be identified by Py-GC and two studies, one by IR-TF and one by Py-GC, were made in 2005, in order to compare the information given by these analytical tools.
Within the Popart project, the CNRS-LC2RMF proposes to work on identification methods for synthetic materials and their deterioration products, from simple observation until analytical techniques by using IR-TF and Py-GC. This work will be made with a partnership with one or more museums of contemporary art. This project will also allow to study and to compare the state of conservation of the objects according to their history, their environment and their mode of conditioning. Such activity will complete and develop previous activities on acetate and nitrate cellulose objects.
Contact person : Gilles Barabant
Gilles Barabant was born in 1963. He studied art history at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. He joined the CNRS-LC2RMF in 1998, head of the XXth Century and Contemporary Art Group in the Restoration Department. He has been involved in the monitoring of large conservation operations in some museums such as Musée de Grenoble, Les Abattoirs (Toulouse) and the very recent MAC/VAL in the suburbs of Paris.
- Balcar N., Barabant G., Bergeaud C. 2004, Trois portraits pour un plafond : dérestauration et re-restauration d’une œuvre de Matisse au musée du Cateau-Cambrésis. Techné n° 19.
website : http://www.c2rmf.fr/
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