Fungal assessment on storerooms indoor environment in the National Museum of Fine Arts, Cuba

  • Sofía BorregoEmail author
  • Alian Molina


The artworks that are preserved in museums can be damaged by fungi when the conditions of temperature and humidity are adequate to accelerate their growth. This is increased in Cuba by the climatic conditions of the country, characterized by high temperature and relative humidity during the all year. These fungi do not only cause the artworks biodeterioration but also affectations in the personnel’s health. The aims of this work were to characterize the mycobiota in two microenvironments of the National Museum of Fine Arts, Cuba (1: three interior environments of repositories or storerooms and 2: six surfaces of artworks) and analyze its relationship with the conservation of artworks. Environmental samples were taken using a SAS Super 100 biocolector, while samples from the artworks surfaces were taken using sterile cotton swabs. Appropriate selective culture media were used to isolate fungi. The concentrations obtained in the indoor environments indicate that one storeroom was contaminated, while the other two were not. Fourteen filamentous genera, one genus of yeast, and two fungal mycelia were detected in the air of the storerooms, while four filamentous genera and one genus of yeast were obtained from the artworks studied. Aspergillus spp. was the predominant genus in the two microenvironments. Six species of the Aspergillus genus (A. glaucus, A. flavipes, A. niveus, A. proliferans, A. conjunctus, A. restrictus, A. janus) and three genera (Botryoderma, Hansfordia, Nodulisporium) detected in the repositories air as well as four isolated genera of artworks (Olpitrichum, Verticillium, Engyodontium, Tritirachium) are new findings for Cuban museums.


Artworks Environmental quality in museum storerooms Indoor environments in museum Fungi Museum 



Although most of this investigation was carried out with the financing that the National Archive of the Republic of Cuba grants to its projects of technological innovation, the authors want to thank the help given by the National Museum of Fine Arts through the Contract CTTO-01/14.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Preventive Conservation LaboratoryNational Archive of the Republic of CubaHabana ViejaCuba

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