Science and Mechanics in Conservation of Heritage

Our expertise

S-MA-C-H is an innovative start-up promoting the introduction of mechanical engineering into conservation and cultural heritage studies. Based in France, our team works on projects all over Europe.

Our experimental approach is key to achieve breakthrough, at the interface between arts and engineering. The mechanical behaviour of complex and aged materials  (i.a. strain and failure) is tested at multiple scales, with innovative and non-invasive optical and mechanical techniques.

The team nucleated around outstanding scientific missions, such as the annual monitoring of the Mona Lisa and the Musee Fabre's Sainte Trinité project. Part of the team also bonded internationally, with projects at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam focused on the control of the deformation and damage of fragile artworks. The lack of tools available to the conservation field for the study the structural integrity of historical artefacts convinced us to join forces. S-MA-C-H was created as an independent structure to offer easy and accessible solutions to concrete conservation issues.

Established between Avignon, Paris and Amsterdam, our start-up travels throughout Europe. Our reactivity allows us to intervene on a location within a day if necessary. Thanks to our international network, we are always at the cutting-edge of engineering and research for the dynamic and quasi-static monitoring of structures' integrity. S-MA-C-H also develops strategies and tools to monitor structures' integrity and their analysis. The three of us strive for the preservation of cultural heritage, combining complementary disciplines: cultural heritage conservation, mechanical engineering and data analysis. 


What's up

This was wonderful

Wood Science and Technology III:
Methods to examine panel paintings and their preventive and remedial conservation

Thursday - Saturday, October 19-20-21, 2023

Venue: Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Co-organized by: SRAL - The Conservation Institute (The Netherlands), S-MA-C-H (France), and the University of Florence (Italy).

The symposium will be held over three days in October 2023. The program will consist of sessions focusing on themes covering diverse topics resulting from an open call for presentations.

Day 1 topic: Unicity of the artwork: how experiments and simulation could support conservation. Profile: academia expert with experience in both panel painting experimental measure and modeling.

Day 2 topic: The conservation project: how methods, experience and technique support conservation. Profile: expertise from conservators involved in treating and teaching.

Day 3 topic: Preventive conservation: coupling system logic and decision making. Profile: practical experience in advanced preventive conservation strategy.

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