Cultural heritage – research into innovative solutions and methods for historic wood conservation
M Broda, B Mazela
Nowadays, interdisciplinary knowledge, tools and techniques are increasingly used to protect and conserve monuments representing our cultural heritage. This is of great importance especially in case of conservation and restoration of wooden historic artefacts which, as a result of physical, chemical and biological corrosion, have lost their technical, aesthetic and decorative properties. If those processes are not consciously stopped by appropriate conservation works, with the elapse of time they will start to threaten the existence of valuable relics leading to their irreversible destruction. Our generation is responsible for evolving modern, improved techniques and methods ensuring adequate, professional protection for historic artefacts. What is necessary to achieve this goal is close and smooth cooperation between conservators and museum workers, strongly supported by specialised knowledge of scientists representing diverse research disciplines, including biology, microbiology, chemistry, and physics. The aim of the new “Cultural heritage – research into innovative solutions and methods for historic wood conservation” project, supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education ( “Dziedzictwo kulturowe – poszukiwanie nowoczesnych środków i metod konserwacji drewna zabytkowego”, No. 2bH 15 0037 83), is to develop new materials and techniques for conservation of wooden artefacts. Many different types of wood are planned to be studied, including dry wood (e.g. sculptures, paintings on wooden panels as well as various wooden constructions: churches, cottages, sheds, etc.) and wet wood (archaeological wood), individually selected for research in accordance to the level of wood degradation. The main idea behind the innovative solutions is based on technology using organosilicon compounds, particularly polysiloxanes and silsesquioxanes, and nanocellulose. Taking into consideration unique opportunities offered by the mentioned substances, it is highly probable that a new method for strength restoration of destroyed wood will be developed, which will therefore enable wooden historic objects to keep their shape and spatial form. Successful realisation of the project’s assumptions will open new horizons in research on conservation and preservation of wooden cultural heritage.