Historic houses and palace-museums are multi-facetted sites, originally places of power, of delight and representation; today they are museums, areas for reception, contemporary exhibitions and institutional events. All of these activities often co-exist inside one residence so this implies specific risks for collections that are different from those of a classical museum, as the conditions for their use and for visits have been designed on an ad-hoc basis. The interiors of historical houses and their collections composed of furniture, art objects, paintings, sculptures and textiles require specific conditions for conservation.
The EPICO programme
Created in 2015 as a partnership between major Royal residences open to the public, the EPICO programme is an international research program on preventive conservation.
Launched and managed by the Palace of Versailles, the EPICO programme gathers team of experts from several European Royal Residences!
The EPICO programme aims to develop a method for the evaluation and planning of preventive conservation, specifically applied to historic houses and palace-museums. The purpose of the programme is to draw up a methodology for developing a preventive conservation strategy for collections on display in historic houses and palace museums.
Its aim is to provide an overall view of the state and conservation conditions of collections, to throw light on the cause-and-effect relationship of deterioration in order to prioritise and set up an action plan.
- 1 team of specialists in preventive conservation, art historians, registrars and scientists, specialized in the assessment of the conditions of conservation and the state of conservation of the collections
- 5 European Royal residences in France, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Poland, have been involved in the programme, 1 university
- 2 big phases of the programme :
- implementation of international training or specialized services
- Creation and publication of tools and manuals of the EPICO method
- The Palace of Versailles provides the EPICO method and simple preventive conservation tools dedicated to historic houses.
Discover the method here: http://www.europeanroyalresidences.eu/epico/
The Network of the European Royal Residences and the EPICO programme
The network is part of the partnership since its beginning, in 2015, with the aim of spread the results as much as possible to all its memnbers.
- Co-organize meetings: launch meeting, scientific committee, etc
- Participate to dissemination events with EPICO team: conference, institutional meeting, etc
- Communicate about the EPICO research program: organization of a symposium, creation of a platform in the website, etc
- Find partners and Royal Residences to test the method
The EPICO method is applied in 5 of its members:
- Palace of Versailles (France)
- Museum of King Jan III in Wilanów (Poland)
- La Venaria Reale (Italy)
- Parques de Sintra-Monte da Lua (Portugal)
- Prussian Gardens and Palaces Foundation of Berlin-Brandenburg (Germany)