Impact of the environmental conditions on the conservation of metal artifacts: an evaluation using electrochemical techniques

Virginia Costa, Michel Dubus

Metallic coupons were used to evaluate the environmental conditions in several French cultural institutions. They have been exposed inside and outside display cases and evaluated by electrochemical reduction of the surface products formed during the exposure period. The analytical technique allowed the quantitative detection of different compounds. Since deposition of particulate matter accelerates the rate and selectivity of tarnishing, the use of showcases to exhibit artifacts seems to have a beneficial effect, provided that they don’t contain any harmful pollutant.