The Laboratory’s activities include both the in situ conservation of mosaics in the Vatican Collection – ancient, medieval and modern, made of marble, enamel, micro-mosaic and Cosmatesque, located on flooring, walls or mobile supports – and restoration works on mosaics that require detachment, eventual integration (using the same technique as that of the work) and repositioning on lightweight modular panels, maintaining intact the original state.

The factors that determine the methodological definition of a conservation procedure are varied. Indeed, environmental conditions must always be kept in mind (for instance, the state of conservation of in situ works – archaeological or architectural – will be different to that of artefacts held in museums), along with the results of diagnostic examinations, the purpose of the work (or rather, whether they are works on display or works in use, such as mosaics inserted along a museum itinerary and therefore subject to foot traffic) and its de facto state (the conservation of all that is unaltered in the item, compared to its condition upon discovery).

The Laboratory is equipped with an innovative zenithal photographic system positioned on the ceiling, allowing rapid documentation of the mosaics in digital format during the restoration phase.