Conservation workshop of ceramics, glass and small finds

The conservation workshop of ceramics, glass and small finds operates since 1994 in the Museum of Byzantine Culture in a big and specially arranged room, which also has a storeroom. It has access to an outdoor space, which has a shelter, and is used for the works of cleansing of the excavation material.

The aim of the workshop is the preventive conservation, the conservation and the restoration of artifacts from the collections of the Museum of Byzantine Culture. These artifacts come from excavations in the city of Thessaloniki, in the region of Macedonia and from cooperating institutions (Ephorates of Antiquities, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art e.a.). In the workshop pottery and glassware are conserved and also artifacts from the collection of small finds made of clay, glass, bone, stone and wood. For the better study of artifacts samplings and analyzes are carried out, which aim to the diagnosis of the construction technology, the pathology and their damages. The works are completed with the writing of the “condition report”, which is documented with the addition of photographs and designs. The workshop combines old with latest methods and practices, while, in addition to that, it continuously enriches and deepens its equipment and materials, so that it can improve the methods used.

It also shows to the public its work and expertise, carrying out the Museum’s pursuit for extroversion; so, it participates in the guided tours inside the rooms of the conservation workshops, whether these are organized by the Museum itself or are organized in cooperation with other institutions, such as the Association of Greek Archaeologists and the Association of Employees in Northern Greece of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The workshop also participates in the educational programs, with creative pottery workshops. These programs address also, except from children, to adults and families as a whole.      

The workshop takes part in the preparation and the implementation of the permanent and temporary exhibitions of the Museum. Its main concern is the safe exhibition of artifacts. In cases of temporary exhibitions outside the Museum’s halls, in Greece and abroad, its conservators conserve the artifacts and write the “condition reports”. Examples of exhibitions implemented inside the Museum are the “Hours of Byzantium”, the “Byzantine Glazed Ceramics: The Art of Sgraffito” and “Ex Thessalonica Lux” and outside the Museum the exhibitions “Heaven and Earth. Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections” held in the U.S.A., “Byzantium. Splendour and Daily Life” held in Germany and “Light on Light: An Illuminating Story” held in Thessaloniki and Athens.

Among the workshop’s tasks is to take care of the conditions of exhibition and storage of the artifacts, in the Museum and in the White Tower, according to the international standards. Lastly, it gives the opportunity to undergraduate students of the conservation science, from Greece and abroad, to make their practice in the workshop’s rooms.