The Ethnographic Museum of Grandas de Salime “Pepe el Ferreiro” has one of the most significant collections of this type of museum. In addition to the numerical relevance of the collections, there is a great variety of material supports, with a predominance of wood and metal.
The size of the installations and the diversity of exhibition arrangements constitute an additional risk factor for the conservation of the pieces, which are subject to very changing processes of alteration depending on their location outside or in the exhibition room.
Prevention is the best way to ensure the preservation of pieces. The Museum’s conservation area carries out a regular programmed review of all the collections, which makes it possible to anticipate and avoid deterioration processes in the pieces by means of non-intrusive preventive maintenance activities.
Recovery of parts
One of the tasks of the Museum’s conservation department is to recover the pieces in its collection for public exhibition. These interventions are undertaken with two purposes:
- Restoration of the original appearance of objects whenever this is necessary for their understanding and/or to ensure their stability.
- Recovery of the functionality of the parts. Since its creation, one of the Museum’s priorities has been to transmit the added value of objects as historical documents and as vehicles for the transmission of techniques and knowledge. With the recovery of their use, the pieces enjoy a new useful life and are transformed into world class educational tools.
The recovery interventions follow the guidelines and criteria commonly accepted for this type of activity, which include the use of elements that are non-aggressive and easily distinguishable from the original parts of the pieces.
Occasionally, the state of conservation of the pieces that enter the institution does not allow their recovery or advises against their public exhibition.
In the conservation workshop, full-scale reproductions are made to complete the exhibition discourse without compromising the integrity of the original pieces.
Reproductions are also used to fill gaps in the centre’s exhibition units. In these cases, the conservation area is responsible for making replicas of the elements that the Museum does not have in its collection, but which are necessary to give coherence to the unit.