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Historical Tapestries and Textiles from the Collection of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague - Conservation and Presentation

Department 58 – International Relations
Department 58 – International Relations


Title of the ProgrammeCZ06 - Culture
Title of the Programme Area

Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Art - programme area no. 16

Title of the ProjectHistorical Tapestries and Textiles from the Collection of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague - Conservation and Presentation
Number of the Project---
Project Promoter

Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague

Name of Norwegian Partner(s)

University of Bergen

University museum of Bergen

Objective of the Project

The project envisages the preservation (restoration) of historical tapestries and textiles from the collection held by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. The collection of textiles is registered in the CES (UPM/002-04-12/078002) and is one of the largest and most important national museum collections created since the institution was founded in 1885. Sub-collections of historical tapestries and liturgical textiles were influenced, in addition to targeted acquisitions, by political and historical events which, in the 1950s and 1960s expanded the collection to incorporate items confiscated from the aristocracy and the clergy, after which it was partially reduced as a result of church restitution. From collections of textiles containing around 20,000 items, seven tapestries from the 16th -18th centuries and nine assorted pieces of liturgical textile from the 15th – 20th century were selected. The selection of textiles was mainly influenced by the quality of the design and their singularity within the context of the collection, as well as the level of damage and the amount of time and money required for their conservation. During the course of the project, it will be promoted, focusing on the professional and lay public. A workshop with the conservation museum in Bergen and a cycle of lectures, again with the participation of the Norwegian partner, will be of benefit to the professional public. Information on the project will be available on the museum website. The final phase of the conservation process is to determine the best method of presenting historical textiles and the conditions for storing them in the depositary. Tapestries will be prepared for installation using a single suspension system. Historic liturgical textiles will partly use the existing museum collections and will partly be made with reinforced backing strips or tailor-made frames for specific textiles. Optimal conditions will be determined for display and storage (climate and pest control). Compliance with these conditions will form part of the preventive conservation practices. During this phase, best practices will be transferred from the Norwegian side, the University Museum in Bergen, which has an elaborate system for the protection of exhibits. Preserved textiles will be displayed in the UPM branch at the castle in Kamenice nad Lipou. After completion of the reconstruction of the main UPM building in Prague, which is projected to open in 2017, the textiles will become part of a new permanent exhibition. To ensure the sustainability of the project, an exhibition will be organised in Prague devoted to the problems involved in restoring historical textiles in the Czech environment.

Approved grant

approximately 315 363 EUR

Project DurationStart date: 1st January 2015, End date: 30th April 2016