This scientific section deals mostly with the on-site conservation of wall paintings and polychrome decorations on all types of supports. It thus helps monitor major conservation-restoration projects and provides support to the various participants. Its involvement may include: assistance regarding assessments of the condition of polychrome decorations and their supports; characterization of pigments, binding agents and other components; definition of painting techniques used; and identification of any deterioration and its cause. Such cases may be, for example, the appearance of salt efflorescence, the formation of a surface film, the disintegration of the support or of the pictorial layers, chromatic degradation, etc.
The Murals section also runs research programs, covering three main thematic areas:
• The first is linked to conservation-restoration and concerns the most adapted products and treatment methods.
• The second theme focuses on enhancing knowledge of the works of art, such as the study of the polychromes in entranceways of medieval buildings.
• The third topic centers on the development of new analytical and diagnostic techniques, some of which are non-destructive: Infra-red thermography under random excitation, Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), and laser Doppler vibrometry.