Interview with Peccioli Museum about the use of indicating silica gel

Interview with Peccioli Museum about the use of indicating silica gel

Published : 02/20/2017 - Categories : MUSEUMS AND COLLECTIONS

Thanks to the Archaeological Museum of Peccioli, a small village in Tuscany – Italy,  we have gathered an interesting interview with regard to the use of silica gel  in a particualr  environmental situation characterised by some issues generated by a high humidity level.

Since 2007, the Archaeological Museum is located in the new premises of the charming Piazza del Carmine 33, on the ground floor of a historic building.

The museum has a valuable collection. One of the most remarkable relics is a belt of medieval origin which measures one meter in length that consists of eighty one elements in bronze, decorated with floral motifs set on a strip of cloth of vegetable fiber.

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(The exhibition area inside the Archaeological Museum of Peccioli, © Stock Photo Peccioliper Foundation)


This charming museum, however, has particular environmental conditions characterised by high relative humidity conditions and in order to preserve the entire collection, plexiglas protective showcases have been developed in the exhibition area.
In order to drop the percentage of moisture inside the showcases, the curators of the museum have installed some trays containing brown silica gel crystals

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(Plexiglass showcases inside Archaeological Museum of Peccioli, © Stock Photo Peccioliper Foundation)

This particular indicating silica gel has the peculiarity to change its colour from ocra yellow (new and dry) to light blue (exhausted and wet) and thanks to this feature it’s possible to keep visually under control the condition of the desiccant, intervening at the right time allowing to quickly replace the exausted product at the slightest sign of color change.

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In order to control the microclimate inside the showcases and minimize the inflow of moisture coming from the museum rooms, the museum staff was able to improve the isolation from outer space by placing a seal in the gap between the clear plexiglas panels composing the showcases. Whit this expedient, was possible to increase the hermetic seal, increasing the effectiveness of dehydrating product and improving its efficiency last longer.

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(Grave goods dating back 14th century, Archaeological Museum of Peccioli, © Stock Photo Peccioliper Foundation)

Today the Museum of Peccioli has achieved a great deal by changing every two weeks the BROW silicagel inside the showcases. The replacement of the desiccant material is carried out at the stage where it begins to change color without let it to become completely exhausted, to avoid the minimum accumulation of excessive moisture inside the showcases. The exhausted silica gel is not disposed but regenerated and stored for a new cycle.

Desiccant products like silica gel are ideal for use in the particular environment situations in which it’s above all necessary to lower the level of relative humidity.


However in cases where it’s imperative to stabilize the level of humidity to a specific value, it’s necessary to use specific products like ProSorb which have the particular feature to maintain the level of humidity inside the display case to a precise value, so as to avoid exposing the relics in excessively dry or moist environment. Given the sensitivity of special humidity-stabilizer like ProSorb it’s strongly recommended their use inside totally sealed showcases given that these materials react to external humidy influences.

It’s also fair to say that in order to preserve under the best possible conditions such of delicate relics, it’s important not only the use of the right products, but also the proficiency and the passion that the entire Museum of Peccioli’s staff has shown us.

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We would like in particular to thank Dr. Elisa Piludu for her courtesy and professionalism. We take this opportunity to highlight the site of the Archaeological Museum of Peccioli www.fondarte.peccioli.net

Opening hours: 

From Monday to Friday: 15.00 - 19.00.
Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 10.00 - 13.00; 15.00 - 19.00.

Closed: New Year's Day, 1 May, August 15th, Christmas,
Free admission.
Info: phone 0039 0587 672158; info@fondartepeccioli.net;

Are part of the Museums in Peccioli, the Praetorian Palace Museum and the Museum of Sacred Art.
All information is available on the website www.fondarte.peccioli.net.

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