Development and model application of an 'in situ' humidification method with a monitoring concept using the example of an anthropogenically damaged large-format wooden panel painting

Content and aims

The project aims to investigate the possibilities of rehumidification cultural assets that have been severely damaged by low, anthropogenically induced humidity levels in a practice-oriented manner. For this purpose, an example of a nationally valuable wooden panel painting in a monument preservation environment is to be rewetted 'in situ' and accompanied by measurements. In order to enable conservation and restoration work [1] on the severely damaged painting layer, the panel painting must first be brought closer to its original geometric dimensions by controlled moistening.

[1] The actual conservation and restoration is not part of the research project.


The panel painting is decoupled from the rest of the room climate and enclosed in a housing. The actual condition, and later also movements and changes in the wood and the painting layer, will be closely documented with a measuring and monitoring system during the project. After material and painting technique analyses, hygrothermal simulations and practical tests with reference samples will be carried out in the climate chamber. These should provide information on how and to what extent object- and material-compatible humidification can be carried out, so that an appropriate humidification method can then be performed in the research project. Only then will the severely shrunken wooden beam be conditioned and humidified by means of systematic climate control so that it can expand very slowly. Once the expansion is complete, the aim is to dismantle the enclosure and use environmentally friendly and energy-saving measures, such as sorption-capable moisture buffers, to maintain equilibrium moisture stability and ensure the sustainability of the measure.

Bamberg competencies

The KDWT contributes to the project especially its existing expertise in the detection and visualization of movements of cultural assets in the context of spatial and environmental climate. See also the research project "Under 40". 


The project is funded by The German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU) it is listed under the file number 37502.