About the project

The ever increasing number of temporary exhibitions organized in Italy and abroad brings about the need of a greater control and protection of the works of art both while in transit from a venue to another and during the show. These two themes are so much of a concern that MIBACT has teamed up with MIUR, in a collaboration between the Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione e il Restauro (ISCR), the Computer Science Department of the Università “La Sapienza” of Rome and WSENSE, a spinoff from “La Sapienza”.

The goals of this project, headed by Dott. Elisabetta Giani of ISCR and Prof. Chiara Petrioli of the Computer Science department of "La Sapienza" are manifold.

  • The development and calibration of miniaturized sensor nodes that, attached to the work of art and to its crate, measure and record mechanic vibrations and variations in temperature and humidity, and provide, throughout the journey, the current geographic position of the work of art. These sensors are produced by WSENSE, in collaboration with the Computer Science department of “La Sapienza”.

  • The extensive collection of the sensed data, categorized by the different works of art, the type of transport (what kind of vehicle is used, the type of routes and the travel duration, the season, etc.), the type of boxing, with the objective to create a data base covering a large number of different transports.
  • The identification of criteria to establish actions for optimizing transport, with beneficial consequences not only for safety but also for shipping costs (including boxing) and insurance, which take a big chunk of the budget of a temporary exhibition.
  • An effective alarm system reporting when pre-set thresholds for critical values of micro-climatic and vibrational are met or exceeded.

As part of ongoing project we have monitored the transportation of art works such as the Pietà Rondanini from the Castello Sforzesco in Milan, the Marcello from Louvre, the Narciso from the Galleria d’Arte antica di Roma, the Livia orante from the Vatican Museums, the Cratere di Eufronio (Euphronios krater) of the Museo di Villa Giulia di Roma, and some Affreschi staccati di Ercolano from the Archaeological Museum of Naples.