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*Corresponding author: Kholod K Salama, National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, Cairo, Egypt
How to cite this article: Kholod K Salama, Mona F Ali, Abubakr M Moussa. Applying the Preventive Conservation for Securing Mural Paintings in El
Sakakeny Palace. Glob J Arch & Anthropol. 2019; 10(4): 555792. DOI: 10.19080/GJAA.2019.10.555792
The preventive conservation is more important than restoration process. As it concerns about controlling the deterioration factors and preventing it’s occurred in the surrounded area. The historic palaces suffer from the deterioration factors which facing the building walls with all kind of arts applied on it such as mural paintings. The wall inside any ancient building exposed into different deterioration factors which surly transfer into the mural paintings applied on that interior walls. So controlling humidity, temperature and light which affect the mural paintings can be stopped and prevent before accelerating currently the preventive conservations is presented as a case study of the sakakeny palace which contains many kinds of Magnificent paintings to control the surrounded area of the paintings without any direct treatment for paintings.
Keywords: Preventive conservation; Mural paintings; Relative humidity; Temperature; Fire
All paintings existed inside sakakeny palace considered a unique art form, need accurate and special treatment so the preventive conservation involves any actions taken to prevent or delay the deterioration of mural paintings. The primary goal is to identify and reduce potential hazards to mural paintings with thoughtful control of their surroundings using different instruments.
El Sakakeny Palace has a great number of mural paintings, contains all techniques of mural paintings which painted with Italian artists such as:
a. The mural paintings which applied on the wall directly almost all walls of halls covered with mural paintings (Figure 1A).
b. The mural paintings applied on canvas especially on
ceiling (Figure 1B).
c. The mural paintings which applied on panel or on the
wooden ceiling as El Sakakeny palace which contain beautiful
draws on the wooden doors inside the palace (Figure 1C).
All those techniques suffer from deterioration factors such
as relative humidity, air pollution and difference in temperature
(Figure 2). So, the mural paintings even the recently restored
can be suffered again because of the Absence of monitoring
temperature and humidity devices. Those mural paintings need
applying The Periodical Conservation steps which mean the
Preservations of mural paintings as known” protect is better
than cure “ so all restorers must watch the mural paintings
carefully and accurately to control temperature, relative
humidity using hygrometers, Protecting those mural paintings
from the air pollution using filters and protecting them from fire
using fire alarms. As the palace was recently exposed to vital fire
in basement caused serious deteriorations as the wooden ceiling
has been crashed and soot deposited on the walls (Figure 2).
That fire caused accelerating of temperature and decrease of
humidity content so the gypsum converted to Anhydrite as the
led to the cracks and split of the painting layers.
Hygrometer is an instrument measures humidity using the
condensation temperature in the surrounded area the way of
a. Fill the water bottle and screw it on to the instrument.
b. Hang the hygrometer (by the loop at the top) on a wall
or a tree, for instance, for at least five to 10 minutes before
taking the measurements. The instrument should not be in
Air conditioner which has filters used to control the
temperature in the surrounded area and to purify the polluted
air the way of work:
i. Air conditioners use chemicals that easily convert from
a gas to a liquid and back again. This chemical is used to
transfer heat from the air inside of the hale to the outside air.
ii. LED lamps (light emitting diode) which haven’t any
thermal effect, the way of work:
iii. A two-lead semiconductor light source. It is a pen
junction diode that emits light when activated. When a
suitable voltage is applied to the leads, electrons are able to
recombine with electron holes within the device, releasing
energy in the form of photons.
iv. Fire Alarms are instruments used for detecting the fire
in historic palaces and the fire extinguishers to resist the
fire, The way of work:
v. Extinguishers work by removing heat from the fire. Dry
chemical extinguishers are tanks of foam or dry
vi. powder with compressed nitrogen as the propellant.
They work by smothering the fire: when you put a layer of
powder or foam on the fire, you cut the fuel off from the
oxygen around it, and the fire goes out.
Due to the link between temperature and relative humidity
as any change in temperature followed by a change in humidity
so these factors can’t be separated so the relative humidity must be not exceeding 65% - 45% . As the high humidity
helps growth and reproduction of microorganism  and low
humidity lead to fragility of the archaeological material  And
the frequency in relative humidity working on separation of
color layers and negatively affecting plaster layers. Recording
the relative humidity is consider a basic step in the process of
conservation and there are many devices for measuring it 
like Hygrometer and Data logger  Figure 3.
The air conditioner with filters Figure 4 is the best way to
control the relative humidity and temperature. the device may
close automatically in case of reaching temperature, and relative
humidity limits  and the filters prevent dust and gas pollution
. The use of filters to purify the air of solid waste and some
gases such as gas sulfur dioxide, ozone, oxides of nitrogen. This
filter can purify the air from the dust efficiently 99%  (Figures
To control the light system in El Sakakeny palace must use
the following steps:
a. The LED lamps Fig.5 haven’t any thermal effect so using
them are very safety for the mural paintings in El Sakakeny
palace as the light intensity must be less than 150 lux for
colored mural paintings .
b. Reduce the time of exposure to light using the system
of automatically light ( self-lighting ) since there are visitors
watching the mural painting and this system is very accurate
and this system can cause preservation to mural paintings as
for example if the hall number 1 in palace A is empty so no
need to be lighted so this system will associate the visitors
with the light .
A fire alarm system has a number of devices working together
to detect and warn people through visual and audio appliances
when smoke, fire, carbon monoxide or other emergencies are
present. These alarms may be activated automatically from
smoke detectors  El Sakakeny palace has been exposed to
fire because of absence of stem alarm detector and the Fire
extinguisher were kept away of workers in the palace Fig.6 so
any person need to know how to use it by Pulling the pin on
the extinguisher. Aim the hose nozzle low toward the base of
the fire. Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until
extinguished. So, learning the ways of using extinguishers is an
important step in applying the preventive conservation
This paper is presenting the periodical conservation steps in
El Sakakeny palace which contains different techniques of mural
paintings suffering from many deterioration factors and on the
top the fire accident which recently happened in the palace.
i. 1-control relative humidity and temperature according
to the hygrometer results and using a suitable air conditioner
to reach the suitable temperature and humidity in order
to prevent the growth of microorganisms and prevent the
differential rates of expansion and contraction in the mural
ii. 2-filters in air conditioner purify the air from dust and
iii. 3-control the light using safety kinds of lamps like LED
lamps which haven’t any thermal effect.
iv. 4-and finally protecting the palace from fire using
advanced alarms to detect any possible fire and the fire
extinguisher to resist fire if happened as the loss of the value
historic palaces can’t be compensated with no money.
v. 5- Courses for the workers to learn how to deal with
the fire alarms and fire extinguishers must be an important
step in preventive conservation.
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