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The RE-ORG Method

Collection Storage: A Window into the Richness of Cultural Heritage.

A Conversation with Gaël de Guichen

Pages 226-235
Published online: 23 Jul 2021


Gaël de Guichen is a key figure in the world of conservation and collection storage. His career has taken him from the Lascaux cave in France's Vézère Valley to the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Rome, Italy. At the latter, he developed the concept of ‘preventive conservation' and set up numerous study programmes for heritage preservation, including the RE-ORG method, which has since become an international standard in collection storage. In his words, ‘a museum's storage room is the place where unexhibited collections are brought together in optimal conditions, ready to be displayed in galleries, studied by specialists, and, if possible, seen by the public.’ In this interview, he tells us how he came to this definition and what it implies. His journey, however, is part of a larger story: one that also paves the way for the future of collection storage around the world.

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Notes on contributors

Yaël Kreplak

Gaël de Guichen is a French-born chemical engineer who graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique of Lausanne, Switzerland. He was in charge of conservation studies at the Lascaux cave from 1968 to 1969 before spending the remainder of his career in Rome, at ICCROM, as Assistant to the Director General. He carried out more than 800 missions in over 90 ICCROM Member States. He has also launched several long-term programmes, including one on preventive conservation, another to improve conservation conditions in museums south of the Sahara (PREMA), and another to raise public awareness on the fragility of heritage (Media Save Art). For the past decade he has focused on leading teams to reorganise collection storage (RE-ORG).

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