The intricacies of packing and shipping artwork

The intricacies of packing and shipping artwork

The significance and historical value of paintings as works of art, as well as their fragility, make the transportation of such works of art a complicated enterprise. Carelessness, poor quality packaging, poorly thought out plan of the way, can lead to damage to property, the inability to restore the fragile cargo. The rules of transportation of canvases, concluded in the frame, have common moments with the movement of valuable, fragile things. But, there are also differences that carriers, accompanying persons need to know.

Safety conditions for packing and transportation

Transportation company, which is entrusted with the valuable cargo, should know the requirements, under which the picture will reach the destination without damage.

Proper packing is key. Professionals dealing with fragile cargo use parchment paper, bubble wrap, cassettes, and heavy cardboard. Proper packaging drastically reduces the risk of damage from:

mechanical effects;
temperature fluctuations;
the effects of humidity;
dust, dirt.
Proper packaging is designed to protect not only the canvas, but also the frame. The choice of packaging depends on the number of paintings and the type of work. For example, graphic images and oil paintings require different approach. A large batch should be placed in boxes made of three-layer corrugated cardboard, ordered by size.

The way the painting is transported also matters. In some cases, the canvas is shipped separately from the frame. In this case a canvas is twisted into a tube, with colorful layers facing out. The diameter of the tube depends on the stiffness of the canvas. The canvas is wrapped in paper and placed in a tube of a suitable diameter, a plastic tube. An important requirement is to have a gap between the packaging and the paint layer. This approach eliminates the destruction of the coating, the emergence of scratches, scuffs. Wrapping cloth, paper, it is necessary to fix the material with scotch tape, eliminating the sticky layer on the canvas.

The frame is packed separately. For this purpose, the following can be used:

sheets of fiberboard;
dense cardboard.
Great attention should be paid to protecting the corners. Professionals recommend using additional corners made of plastic, coarse cardboard, other durable materials, fix with tape.

Specifics of transportation
A risk factor when transporting paintings can be a jolting factor, causing the emergence of chips, cracks, on antique and avant-garde paintings. The driver needs to think through the route in advance, to avoid unexpected obstacles on the way, off-road, potholes. The driver of the truck must be aware of the value of the cargo, have experience working with fragile materials, qualifications in driving.

In some cases, it is necessary to transport linen in a specially equipped vehicle that provides the requirements of stability of humidity, temperature.

Important and selection of loaders, qualification. On the correctness, accuracy of loading and unloading also depends on the safety of the panels. When working, the movers must exclude mechanical damage to the cargo. To do this, take the painting by the frame, sub-frame. For large canvases are especially dangerous vibration, warping.

Care, accuracy, responsibility – the key requirements in the selection of staff.

You should keep in mind that some paintings have historic value, and only one copy exists. Transportation is complicated by the fact that works of art become especially fragile because of their age. But, even modern paintings can be valuable as a keepsake.

Preferably during packing, transportation, unloading, presence of specialists-restorers, museum curators, forwarding agent (representative of the customer).

The transportation process should be entrusted to transportation companies, which are experienced in transportation of paintings, art values, have the appropriate rolling stock, professional staff, able to carefully pack and deliver the valuables to the destination place.


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