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Art in the public space

The inventory of damages and problematic situations of art in public spaces.

Common damage and problematic situations are inventoried and illustrated with case studies of Dutch artworks.

Detail of the War Memorial in De Bilt by Jaap Kaas.

Detail of the War Memorial in De Bilt by Jaap Kaas.

In addition, a network being set up in which management aspects such as risk reduction and organization are discussed. This project gives cause to continue research in the future.


Conserving art in public spaces differs in many ways from conserving art in museum collections. The influences of outdoor conditions (weather, traffic) and the social context prevail. Art in public space touches on various conservation research issues; materials and technique, valuation, management and organization. In this project the emphasiswas  on the material/technique side, but it also formed the impetus for the creation of a network for discussing the management aspects.


The valuation of art in public spaces has certainly played a part, but this topic should take on a more central role in future research. For example, the question of how valuation changes through changes in surroundings and when ageing is evaluated as patina and when it is not.

Risk Reduction

The project included a survey to inventory the most common damages and problematic situations, from which three case studies were selected.
As a result, a network is being set up for stakeholders involved in the management and conservation of these works of art. A workshop on the occasion of the presentation of a step-by-step plan made it clear that future research should focus more on risk reduction and the question of whom the problem owner is.

The completion of the project is actually in an intermediate stage. More research and collaboration is required to achieve a manageable situation for artworks in public spaces.