The Conservation Department’s top priority for the decant of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery was to ensure the safety of the collections throughout the project. This required extensive object preparation.

The Portrait Gallery has a wealth of nooks and crannies. Our first challenge was identifying what exactly was contained within this deceptively large building.

In the months leading up to April 2009, we undertook an ambitious programme of condition surveying and then remedial and preventative conservation measures. It was a huge task with an immovable deadline.

Conservation is accustomed to liaising closely with other departments, and this project demanded very close working with both curatorial and documentation teams, amongst many others.