Shock treatment for the stuffed animals of the Orléans museum before they enter the display cases

It’s the last straight line. The Mobe (Orléans museum for biodiversity and the environment) should open around Easter, after a five-year closure for works. Behind the scenes, therefore, the excitement is at its peak, and the collections are pampered before being displayed in the windows of the new exhibition route.

Stuffed animals are a prime target for insects. So to prevent an infestation, preventive treatments are carried out. There is no question here of using chemicals, as was the case in the past. “Due to the work, the collections had to be taken out of storage, so there are risks. We mainly do two kinds of preventive treatments, by anoxia, and a cold treatment by putting the specimens in a cold room », Indicate Alexiane Cormel, head of the technical management department of the Orléans museums and collection manager, and Michel Binon, head of Mobe collections.

The giraffe of MOBE d’Orléans is now waiting for visitors firmly

The process lasts 21 days. Photo Eric Malot

Anoxia consists of creating a sealed bubble around shelves carrying different animals. A special machine that sends nitrogen then empties the bubble of its oxygen.

For twenty-one days, the atmosphere of the bubble is lowered below 0.10% oxygen in order to kill living organisms. It is absolutely necessary to avoid variations if the bubble is not waterproof, they complete.

The operation began at the end of November and will continue until the beginning of January.

A giant bubble presented to the public

Several hundred animal specimens will be treated in this way. We discover under the plastic, the last wolf of Loiret, a majestic stag or a spectacular vulture … “We have eight bubbles. The largest is 10 m3. The machine allows a maximum of 12 m3. From the end of February, We will install a giant 200 m3 bubble in the temporary exhibition space, which will allow visitors to the new museum to take a look behind the scenes of this work », they announce.

For specimens, too fragile, which cannot be At the moment, a bear rubs shoulders with a boar and other stuffed animals in an atmosphere of minus 30 degrees.

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In the cold room. Photo Eric Malot.

“We must also be very careful, there are elements of the unknown in these treatments. It depends on the material. We will treat a little less than three hundred specimens by cold ”, point out Alexiane Cormel and Michel Binon. With the fear that, despite these operations, a pest will resist, as has been the case in other museums, and deteriorate the collections.

Cindy Roudier-Valaud

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