In the belief that care for the works begins with an analysis of the environmental conditions that can generate risks for their conservation, much of the time available is dedicated to micro-climatic and environmental monitoring, carried out by means of a network of more than 100 data-gathering stations, distributed throughout the exhibition spaces (rooms and galleries), in working and study areas (restoration sites and laboratories, libraries) and deposits, wherever there are works made of sensitive materials. The systematic monitoring of temperature and relative humidity (%), specific humidity, CO2 concentration, pollutants and contaminants present in the form of dust or gas, light values (lux) and ultraviolet radiation (UV), is performed both “in loco”, and remotely, with the use of the most sophisticated sensor equipment. For example, radio sensors transmit data directly to a control unit where they can be read, archived and elaborated.
Every month the Office sends updates and notes regarding eventual irregularities internally to the Directorate, Departments and Restoration Laboratories.
Environmental monitoring, along with weekly inspections of the spaces where conditioning equipment is in use, is intended to indicate eventual anomalies and to activate prompt technical interventions, as well as to produce data useful in view of eventual restoration programmes and structural adjustment projects or changes to equipment or displays. In this field, the Conservator’s Office acts as a form of “control room” for the gathering, transmission and use of the data acquired.
Plans for the management of the patrimony are instead intended to limit the effects of physical wear and anthropic pressure, and consist of the periodical revision and maintenance of the itineraries and display areas, as well as the thousands of works located in these spaces or conserved in storage deposits, organised as follows:
ordinary maintenance of the collections (dusting, monitoring and documentation of the state of conservation of the works on display);
ordinary maintenance of the storage deposits (environmental monitoring, control and revision of the works and equipment);
ordinary maintenance of valuable decorations (inaugurated in 2013 and dedicated to the restoration of surfaces of walls and corridors damaged by wear).