Laboratory for Conservation and Restoration

The MCAH Laboratory for Conservation and Restoration has operated in the Palais de Rumine since it opened. Little by little it has expanded its missions, its team and its competences. Today, it is not only in charge of monitoring the museum's collections (checking their condition, packaging for exhibitions and preparing objects), but also devotes also a large part of its time to preserving objects that are discovered during archaeological excavations. The stabilization of metal archaeological materials (iron and bronze) is often one of the emergencies that it is confronted with during excavations. This stage makes it possible to ensure the survival of the objects and their conservation for study and for transmission to future generations. Many hours are often needed after they are stabilised to enable the objects to be displayed in an exhibition.

The laboratory has many and varied assignments: restoring organic objects made of bone, wood and vegetable fibres and coins, reassembly of ceramic and glass objects, casts, etc. Over the years, the laboratory has acquired internationally-recognized competences in treating old waterlogged wood, either by freeze-drying or by baths of polyethylene glycol. In this way, its makes its experience available to other institutions, in the Canton of Vaud, in Switzerland and abroad. Welcoming interns in the field of preventive conservation is also one of its strong points.