The LRMH team

Founded in 1967 by Jean Taralon, General Inspector of Historical Monuments, and established in the service quarters of the Château de Champs-sur-Marne since 1970, the LRMH (Laboratoire de recherche des monuments historiques) is today a national service of the Ministry of Culture and Communication (General heritage direction).

Its mission is to provide a scientific and technical assistance to the works of conservation and restoration of historical monuments, whether they are buildings, great decorative sets or movable works. It rises to this fundamental task through the scientific advice it brings to restoration project managers and contracting authorities (scientific and technical control from the State), as well as the studies it leads on public monuments and major works, and the research it conducts on the conservation of cultural heritage. This activity is what justifies its association with USR 3224.

The research activity of the LRMH comes down to three main themes : the knowledge of constitutive materials in monuments and their alteration processes ; the optimization or evaluation of techniques and products of conservation and restoration ; finally, the development of new scientific instruments, as noninvasive as possible and often suitable for field work.

The LRMH is a 34 agents (23 of which are scientists) team, divided into 8 thematic areas, each one dedicated to research on a certain material or sort of works : wood, concrete, decorated caves, metal, wall paintings and polychrome, stone, textile and stained glass, as well as a cross-disciplinary area on biological alteration issues. Scientists in these areas are physicists, chemists, biochemists and material engineers. After their university course, they gained in LRMH a speciality and great experience in heritage material conservation, thus becoming conservation scientists in the service of cultural heritage heads.

In addition to research led on its own budget, which is provided by the interdepartmental programme for research, the LRMH is often involved in nationwide (ANR, National research programme on the conservation of heritage) or european projects (two of which are in progress in FP7). It is a member of two Excellence laboratories (LabEx) : MATISSE, directed by Pierre et Marie Curie University, and PATRIMA, led by Cergy-Pontoise university and dedicated to research on heritage materials. To this last goal, the LRMH also manages a mobile equipment platform developed as part of an Excellence equipment (EquipEx PATRIMEX). It is involved as well in the OXYMORE network, department of major interest of Île-de-France, in which it coordinates along with the CRCC the thematic of heritage materials.