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A national framework for managing malignant plastics in museum collections.

Project Aim: To develop methods for extending the lifespan of at risk malignant plastic or polymer based materials in museum collections.  

Museums are confronting collections, composed of growing numbers of plastic or polymer-based materials, needing better preservation. With a relatively short life expectancy and due to the contemporary nature of plastics, conservators have fledgling expertise for facing this issue. 

A collaborative project (2017–2020) funded by the Australian Research Council, PolyMuse brings together a national pool of museum professionals and scientists.


• Create a conservation framework and database where information can be shared. 

• Provide guidelines to enable informed decision-making when conserving cultural heritage that contain plastics.

• Benefit and reduce risk to vulnerable sections of Australia’s massive cultural collections.