Conservation of stained glass windows with protective glazing : main results from the European VIDRIO research programme
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Journal of cultural heritage. - Amsterdam
, p. 527-536
University of Antwerp
The methodology of protecting the European stained glass windows against environmental risk (e.g. meteorological factors, air pollution, microorganisms) by means of an external glazing is not new. In spite of many scientific studies carried out in the last 20 years, some questions were still up for discussion. The European VIDRIO (20022005) project gave an answer to these questions. The research carried out by the different project partners established a new multidisciplinary approach aimed at evaluating the efficiency of the protective glazing systems and their effects on stained glass windows conservation, and finally at assessing the most appropriate strategy to preserve stained glass windows. Scientific results showed that the so-called isothermal glazing (i.e. ventilation by the air coming from the inside of the building) protected efficiently the ancient stained glass window from environmental attack (i.e. rain, pollutants, condensation, thermal shocks) with very limited secondary effects. The scientific research highlighted that its efficiency was strongly related to the technical design of the protective system. In particular, the ventilation and the size of the interspace had to be carefully considered. The research developed within the VIDRIO project was turned into general recommendations to the owners and practitioners on the best practice for the stained glass windows future conservation.