Preservation of Objects

The Foundation takes great pains to preserve the objects in its possession. It records its collections in digital form and employs highly specialized restorers. Its research methods are in demand worldwide.

Textile restoration at the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin (Opens a larger version of the image)

Restoration of a woman’s silk hat (ca. 1850) for the permanent exhibition of the fashion collection in the Kunstgewerbemuseum © SPK / Pierre Adenis

The precious artifacts in the Foundation's collections consist of a wide variety of materials and have been manufactured in many different ways. Some of them are hundreds of years old. The Foundation's experts ensure the objects' long-term survival by undertaking conservation and restoration measures.

The expertise of the Rathgen research laboratory of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) is in demand around the world. It is one of Germany's leading museum laboratories. The institution plays a key role in the international exchange of knowledge concerning methods of preserving movable and immovable cultural property.

With continuing improvements in technology, the digitization of the collections is gaining in importance. The objects are recorded in detail and are documented with accompanying information in databases. This allows them to be studied without handling or exposing the originals, which may often be fragile.

Conservation and Restoration

© GStA PK / Vinia Rutkowski

Many highly specialized staff are employed throughout the Foundation to preserve vulnerable cultural heritage artifacts. They perform restoration or conservation work and prevent damage occurring. more

Digitizing and Documenting

© SPK / Kristina Heizmann

Digitization is a key aspect of conservation work in all the Foundation's institutions. It not only allows a digital representation to be studied in place of the original item, but also makes the collections globally accessible. more


© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Sabine Schwerdtfeger
The internationally networked Rathgen-Forschungslabor examines objects ranging from ancient times to the present day. It takes an interdisciplinary approach to clarifying matters of preservation, material, origin, and forgery. more