The Laboratory staff is engaged in the conservation, restoration and maintenance of both the Vatican Collections, on display or in storage, and works of extra-territorial origin.
As well as actual restoration works, in recent times maintenance operations have been increasingly numerous, an expression of a policy of conservation orientated towards prevention and non-invasive interventions.
The Laboratory is also responsible for the supervision of worksites and external works, contracted out to specialised firms or non-employees.
Among the principal works still in progress, special mention is due to Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Angels: seven imposing models made of raw earth stuffed with straw, used by the artist for the casting of the bronze sculptures of the Cathedra of St. Peter. The sculptures under restoration are currently located in a visible workshop, purpose-built in the courtyard adjacent to the Vatican Picture Gallery, enabling visitors to follow the works directly.
The Laboratory staff also participate periodically in various activities linked to the Museum layout, the revision of new or pre-existing display systems, movement and systematic monitoring of relevant works, and assistance in transit and in loco of the works loaned for special exhibitions.
The internal collaboration with the Vatican Museums Diagnostic Laboratory for Conservation and Restoration, based on the testing and evaluation of innovative products and methods to be applied in restoration, is fundamental for restorers.