PHySICAL : Profound study of Hydrous and Solvent Interactions in Cleaning Asian Lacquer


This research proposal focuses on the scientific study of the interactions of cleaning solvents with the lacquer surface in order to formulate “best practices” for cleaning Asian lacquers. The emphasis is put upon possible changes in chemical as well as physical aspects of the lacquer through solvent and aqueous cleaning. There will be special attention to the lacquer collection of the Royal Museums of Art and History (RMAH), evaluating the current condition of the lacquerware and proposing “best practises” for safe cleaning and hence long-term preservation. To elucidate the solvent/lacquer interactions chemical analyses will be carried out at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK/IRPA) and Ghent University (UGent), applying complimentary chromatographic techniques.