Over 100 paintings displayed on the walls of the National Arts Museum have been removed because of mould detected in the building and on the walls.
In a comment to TVM, MUŻA Curator, Kenneth Cassar, explained the paintings have been removed to protect them from mould. He said the outbreak of mould is not an alarming one and the paintings will soon be on display again in the coming weeks.
He confirmed that in all about 120 paintings have been removed and the mould is not of the ordinary type. He said this is not a household type of mould and can hardly be detected and therefore the situation is not as catastrophic as is being made out. A lot of paintings have been removed not because mould was detected on them but purely as a precaution to safeguard the national collection.
In further comments to TVM, Cassar explained the paintings were moved into the new museum building in December after being elsewhere for 40 years and therefore certain climatic effects on them could not be detected beforehand.
He said a number of paintings that according to the museum’s conservationists are more sensitive than others to their new environment have been removed from the permanent exhibition and relocated to a part of the museum where there is more control over the parameters and conditions, as is desired.
TVM asked Kenneth Cassar whether the mould has inflicted permanent damage on the heritage of national culture.
He replied the effects are minimal and only need routine cleansing and will soon be restored to their former glory.
The MUŻA Curator said that while the climatic effects on the building are being studied it will be ensured there is no repetition and the paintings will again be on show in the coming weeks.