Conservation and Restoration Department at the Museum


The beginnings of organized restoration activities in the Archaeological Museum can be traced to 1926, when the first preparator was formally employed. This section had long been called the Technical Department (Technical Unit) and gathered experts with varying specialities (masons, architects, various artists, etc.) who worked to conserve, restore and document materials, both those on display and those stored in the Museum’s depots. They also saw to the protection of monuments exposed to weathering and other degradation because they are at outdoor archaeological sites cared for by the Museum.

In 1996, the preparators and restorers moved from an inappropriate space on the Museum’s upper floor to the ground floor of a separate, converted workshop in the Museum’s rear garden, where museum materials were conserved, restored, sketched and photographed. This was indeed a better solution, but these premises soon also proved to be cramped and unsuitable due to the complexity of tasks done there.

After a small outbuilding was remodelled in 2019, the workshop was equipped with machinery and tools to transfer and process stones, and it houses large and small sand blasting cabinets, washing and desalination tubs and a laser. The offices for restorers and sketch artists and rooms for the photographers remained in the larger facility, which also includes a central space with work units to process ceramic, glass, metal, bone, amber and other artefacts in the “small” archaeological materials category.

A laboratory will soon be organized to carry out chemical, mechanical, analytical and other restoration procedures under conditions which could not be fully secured previously but which are an indispensable component the modern restoration process. As the field develops, conservation and restoration specialists with narrower fields of expertise are being hired and workshops in the Museum are being equipped. This in turn has brought to the fore the need for the conservation and restoration of monuments on the basis of cutting-edge scientific approaches and contemporary techniques, as well as cooperation with other research and educational institutions in the joint effort to preserve and present the cultural heritage. Since 2019, this section of the Museum has operated under the name Conservation and Restoration Department.