ExpoProtect heritage showcase for the Reliquary Shrine of Sarrant

ExpoProtect heritage showcase for the Reliquary Shrine of Sarrant

Published on 04/05/2021 à 07:45

In 2019, Catherine Gaich, Conservateur des Monuments Historiques, Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles en Occitanie, Anaïs Comet, Conservatrice déléguée des Antiquités et Objets d'Art du Gers and the mayor of Sarrant, Mr. Alain Berthet have decided to restore the reliquary shrine of Sarrant. The restoration work was entrusted to the Materia Viva laboratory in Toulouse.

The reliquary shrine of Sarrant is a rather rare object for the Occitanie region.

It is an engraved gilded copper box. Classified as a historical monument on April 14, 1908, the shrine is dated to the 14th century (Palissy database). It was discovered at the end of the 19th century by the nuns in a private chapel of the Saint-Vincent church.

It would have contained the relics of Saint Christine of Tuscany whose martyrdom is mentioned on one of the sides of the shrine.

The diagnosis made by the Materia Viva laboratory on the shrine mentions three main problems:

Residues and dust are altering the metal in depth.
Many elements are broken
The gilding no longer has the shiny appearance that gives the object a strong symbolic dimension
Following this diagnosis, the laboratory carried out a conservation-restoration treatment:

Dusting by micro-aspiration (HEPA filter)
Chemical treatment with tri ammonium citrate
Protection by the application of an acrylic resin-based varnish containing a corrosion inhibitor
Repair of the ridge
One of the rivet heads was put back in place with an acrylic resin, Paraloid B44
After this careful and meticulous work, the laboratory issued recommendations on the exposure and conservation of the Shrine.

For its perfect preservation, the recommendations included the acquisition of a perfectly dust-proof display case that would provide an enclosed space limiting air exchange.

Because of the fragility of the Châse, the opening system had to allow easy access for regular maintenance, without risk of damaging the work.

This is why the DRAC and the Sarrant City Council asked Promuseum to create a heritage display case that would allow the Reliquary Shrine to be conserved in optimal conditions.

We proposed to the DRAC of Occitanie and the Sarrant Town Hall our ExpoProtect bell display case.

The ExpoProtect heritage showcase meets the most demanding standards in terms of preventive conservation.

The showcase is entirely made of metal and has neutral silicon seals, thus offering a perfectly inert exhibition space so as not to damage the precious object.

The version with a hinged door was recommended by our team in order to facilitate the opening for the regular maintenance of the Reliquary Shrine.

The 44.2 Ultra-Clear laminated glass, bonded at 45°, was also chosen to offer exceptional transparency and a perfect view of the object for a glass-free "naked eye" effect.

The door is fully secured by an Abloy lock.  The laminated glass also contributes to the security of the object (burglar proof glass).

This heritage showcase is airtight with an air renewal volume of less than 0.3 air volume/day.

This showcase is also available with a compartment for a Propadyn® type desiccant to regulate the hygrometry.


Credit: Materia Viva Laboratory - Sarrant Town Hall

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