Conservation

Restoration and conservation includes all measures for the preservation and research of material cultural heritage for present and future generations. From an ethical point of view, each individual object of the cultural property to be preserved is inseparably linked to the community from which it originated and its history of use. The aim of a conservation is to preserve and document not only the object, but also all the information it contains. To this end, scientific methods are used to analyse materials, manufacturing techniques, but also traces of use and causes of damage. Ethnographic collection objects pose a special challenge due to their enormous diversity of materials and complex manufacturing techniques. The conservators at the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum specialise in painted ethnographics, metal and ceramics as well as organic materials such as wood and textiles. An important area of the restorers' work is preventive conservation. By optimising climate, lighting, deposition and pest control, the collection material is protected and ageing processes slowed down. The development of montages and the installation of objects within the framework of exhibition set-ups as well as the supervision of worldwide loan traffic are also part of the field of activity. In cooperation with the collection officers and external scientific institutes such as the Conserveration Science Institute of the TH Köln, the conservators contribute to the research of the collection with their findings. This extensive knowledge promotes general understanding and appreciation of the cultural heritage to be preserved.