Muntadas’s installation is made up of a multitude of materials, including 18 panels with 165 airmail envelopes inserted in polythene bags. Before the current exhibition of the Collection, conservation-restoration tasks were carried out on these panels.
After numerous exhibitions, and due to their natural ageing, the plastic covers had deteriorated to an extent that made their exhibition impossible. In addition, the degradation of the polythene had affected the conservation of the paper supports.
The fastening of the envelopes by double-sided self-adhesive tape severely impaired their preservation, so that both the polythene covers and the self-adhesive tapes had to be replaced. The original intention was for the envelopes to be shown suspended in the air by means of a common plastic with the purpose of giving the installation an aspect of lightness and simplicity. Working together with the artist facilitated finding a solution that met the aesthetic needs as well as the conservation requirement of the work.
It was decided to attach the envelopes to supports made of conservation board that matched the tonality of the Museum’s walls before inserting them again in polythene bags, which were to be replaced after each exhibition. Additionally, the contribution of the new conservation board supports would facilitate the preservation and manipulation of the work, while minimising the impact of damage deriving from the presentation system.