How should the humidity, temperature, and light be set to preserve Sweden's famous royal warship Vasa for posterity ? How much and how quickly are the ship's wood and preservative breaking down, and how is the ship's stability being affected by this ?
Researchers are now going to study the degradation processes and test new methods for determine their speed, including the monitoring of how much oxygen is consumed. They will also trying out new methods for removing iron and neutralizing acids to stop the degradation. A major co-financed project will provide SEK 18 million.
The royal warship Vasa is one of Sweden's best known and most frequently visited tourist attractions. The ship and the objects it carried are a source of knowledge about the living conditions, culture, and technology of the 17th century.
"It is urgent and important to contribute to research that can enable us to preserve the ship for posterity," says Rolf Annerberg, director general of the Swedish Research Council Formas, one of the financiers behind the new research project.