The specialists of the Restoration Group in the National Museum the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania specialize in the restoration of archaeological material. Restorers of historical exhibits are also being trained.
The priority task of the Restoration Group is the preservation of the archaeological finds discovered in the territory of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, their conservation and restoration. Recently, the preparation of the exhibits for the first route of the display of the National Museum the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania has been taking place and the most decomposed finds have been taken care of. An integral part of this work is preventive conservation: the preparation of the exhibits for storage and display, the monitoring of the artifacts (in collaboration with the custodians of collections) in storage, ensuring proper conditions for their display and preparation for transportation when outgoing exhibitions are organized. The field of preventive conservation also covers the historical exhibits owned by the museum.
The work of the restorers is coordinated and evaluated by the National Museum the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania Restoration Council. The restorers of the museum work in accordance with the procedures established by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, they enhance their expertise and raise their qualifications through professional exchange visits, seminars and conferences.
The Restoration Group consists of 7 qualified restorers who are responsible for the following tasks: conservation and restoration of metal, ceramic, glass, wood, leather, bone and horn, textile, felt and other archaeological artifacts. Multifaceted research on these finds is also carried out. Some of the research is conducted by the specialists of the Museum of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, while sometimes the assistance of other institutions is required.
Metal artifacts conservation, restoration and research
Metal artifacts are conserved, restored and prepared for storage and display. In addition to that, their microchemical qualitative analysis is performed in order to determine the composition of alloys and to identify coatings. Where necessary, information on the structure of articles is provided by radiographic studies which are used to determine their level of deterioration. In order to obtain more detailed knowledge of the findings, the quantitative composition of their metal alloys, their technological characteristics or art criticism information, assistance of other educational and research institutions or individual specialists is requested.
Ceramic and glass artifacts preservation, restoration and research
In collaboration with other institutions and organizations, the restorers of the museum perform multifaceted chemical, technological and artistic research on ceramic and glass artifacts, identify their clay mass, glaze, mortar composition as well as their production characteristics. This research has been especially useful not only for the compilation of information about ceramic artifacts, but also for the restoration of the tiled stoves of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
Wood artifacts conservation, restoration and research
Wood finds of the Vilnius Lower Castle are conserved and restored. In the Museum of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, there is also a Dendrochronology and Dendrology laboratory, which conducts dendrochronological research on wood artifacts and identifies the species of trees from which the articles were produced (Dr. Rūtilė Pukienė). Laboratory tests also help to assess the degree of deterioration of findings. Much attention is paid to traceological examinations as well as the determining of the function, the techniques of processing and manufacture of articles.
Leather artifacts conservation, restoration and research
In the workshop of the restorers of the museum, structural studies of leather artifacts are conducted and the animal skin types from which articles were made are identified.
Restoration of easel painting
In the workshop, exhibits related to easel painting are restored and restorers of historical exhibits undergo training.