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Insider : In the secrect of the reserves of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs

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Interview with florence bertin, manager of the collections department:in the 2000s, there was a reflection of allthe museums along the seine to say thatin the event of a flood such as the oneof 1910 which, so far, hasn't happened again for the time being,what would happen to our reserves?so, we decided to outsource the reserves as a place of study,as a centre for both conservation and as a research centre.so, we have a collectionof 15,000 toys from the 18th century to the present day.it is an exhibition policy,which consists of recovering and collecting, everything that has been significantin the history of toys, in the history of materials, etc.if i show you, for example, i'll take out a box.i'll go to the little table, over there, it'll be more convenient.in fact, as with fashion, you'll find that the workof packaging the toys is also a very delicate operation.these are peynet dolls from the 1950s that we did this conditioning work on,that is delicate enough for each the dolls in the collection.we're leaving the toy businessto move into the field of fashion, and here, we enter the field of fashion.with wind tunnels, of course, because the air is processed here,it is our sponsor who treats the air and ensures the best conservation conditions,with standards that are fairly stable, quite satisfactory for allthe works that are here, which go, as you have seen,from ceramics to woodwork,through to paint, toys and, of course, textiles.in fact, the works are stored on hangers. these are works that we have estimated to support theirown weight, and you see, it's a beautiful 18th century coatthat is conditioned, as you'll see in a moment,and which is therefore accessible to all researchers as they are visible, which is different to when you store in a drawer.the pieces that are very fragile, that are exceptional,you see this little coat which is not necessarily the child's coatthat you would think it is, which could be a monkey's coat.men's shoes. from the stockroom of the louvre museum.shoes worn by monseigneur philippe, first duke of orleans,only brother of louis xiv, during theentry of of his majesty in aix en provence in 1660.isn't this an amazing collection?so, on that scale,we have enough to inspire people for centuries and centuries.for each object, we have a particular attentionwhich is long and delicate, which requires knowledge of the materialof the collection and knowledge of the of the packaging material as well.so, you can't go wrong because if you put the wrong foamon the wrong object, it can cause chemical reactions.it's happened to us in some of the older storage facilities.our materials must be stable over time.we shouldn't have to change themin 15 years because at this scale, it would just be implausible.it must be neutral, so that it doesn't give off any toxic substances.they must be safe to useso that they do not react with the materials they are in contact with.you can see the diversity of materials in the collection.it's hard to find suitable materials.sometimes 10/15 people come here,researchers, teachers, consultants, accompanied by the teamsthe museum, of course it's the place where we go,where we design exhibitions, because this is the place where we are around the works.it's not on a database.when thinking about a research projector exhibition, you must consult the works.at any given point, we have an idea,we have a project, and we have to see if it works when it's in 3d,how it works in relation to a scenography project, but also,above all, a story that we want to tell.this vision in the reserves,is of something that is plethoric, on every subject.in fact, we take a cupboard, we have an exhibition subject.so, it's a bit of a fantasy for the reserves, but rightly so, because there issuch a richness.now we can think, dream, think about what we're goingto be able to exhibit and how we're going to make these objects talk.