The Department of Conservation and Restoration

The tradition of conservation and restoration of museum exponents in the National Museum extends into the 19th century, in the period of the first major excavations in Doljenska/Lower Carniola and Kranjska/Carniola. After the Second World War, the Conservation-Restoration workshop became an independent unit of the museum, and has remained the central workshop for all of Slovenia throughout this time. Our basic task is conservation, but we are also involved in restoration, the production of museum replicas, and the professional packaging of museum exponents, as well as research, publication in professional and popular scientific publications, and offering professional advice and education.

In addition to taking care of individual objects, the department is also responsible for the preventive conservation of all of the museum collections. A modern system of supervision and regulation of the relative humidity and temperature is in use in the exhibition and storage areas of the museum.

In accordance with professional requirements, the department specializes in work according to material and period. The archaeological part of the department conserves and restores archaeological metal, waterlogged wood, numismatic items, textile, glass, and pottery. The applied art section of the department conserves and restores historical weapons and military equipment, furniture, paintings, and crafted objects of metal, glass, pottery, and organic material.

A modern computer program called PATINA has been developed to record the conservation and restoration documentation, as a part of the documentation system of the museum as a whole.

The investigations we perform aid us in the choice of conservation procedures and in acquiring general data about the given object, its production, and use. The procedures include the use of optic and electronic microscopes, X-ray and neutron radiography, computer tomography, XRF EDS, PIXE, IR, and UV photography, and other analytical methods.

In natural scientific investigations the department cooperates with the staff of the Jozef Stefan Institute, the Institute of Metal Construction, the Construction Institute, the Restoration Center, the National Gallery, and the Clinical Center.

The education of conservators and restorers

We enable the further education of conservators-restorers with advice and organized workshops, and offer mentorship for professional examinations and theses. A Conservation Manual is being prepared by the section for conservation and restoration of the SMS.


Alloys and pigments can be analyzed without taking samples with EDS XRF. We also offer the preparation of samples and photographs taken through a microscope. We provide instruction in the computer program Patina, as well as education and professional advice.