Ten-yearly check
As is the case for all French museums, the Musée de la Loire has to check its collections every ten years. Every single object belonging to the collections (over 2,200 of them at the Musée de la Loire) has to be checked against the inventory registers to confirm:

  • the existence of the object and its location
  • its technical information (dimensions, materials, etc.)
  • its condition
  • its inventory number and marking.
  • Vérification de l'inscription d'un objet dans le registre d'inventaire. Vérification des dimensions d'une sculpture. Réalisation du constat d'état d'une peinture. Chaque oeuvre est marquée de son numéro d'inventaire sur une partie discrète de l'objet (sous la base, au revers, sur le socle, etc...)

What is a “collections project”?
For its first check, the Musée de la Loire put in place a “collections project” so that it could use the handling of all of the works during this check to its advantage by taking that opportunity to improve their preservation and documentation. This means that each work handled by the museum’s agents is:

  • dusted
  • photographed
  • logged in the electronic inventory which also serves as a document database
  • stored in packaging that is suitable for the materials it is made of
  • if applicable, restored.
Détail d'une peinture avant et après dépoussiérage
Part of a painting before and after dusting

At the same time, the stock is reorganised.

Fabrication d'un plateau en mousse pour le conditionnement d'un bas-relief en plâtre. Les peintures sont stockées sur des étagères, dans des pack-cadres et les assiettes en faïence sont rangées dans des logements en mousse insérés dans des bacs. Les peintures sont stockées sur des étagères, dans des pack-cadres et les assiettes en faïence sont rangées dans des logements en mousse insérés dans des bacs.

All of these operations, which are primarily aimed at the preservation of the works, will lead to a better knowledge of the museum’s collections, meaning that it will then be possible to more regularly refresh the display of its permanent collections and offer new exhibitions. As the check progresses, the museum also puts its collections online in the Joconde database which is managed by the French Ministry of Culture. This means that the collections of the Musée de la Loire are accessible to a broader section of the community and that other heritage institutions become more familiar with them, thereby increasing the museum’s profile.