German conservators have joined a petition about the plans to relocate the storied collection of Old Masters in Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie. Plans were announced in July for an estimated 3,000 works to move into a much smaller space at the Bode Museum to make room for the modern art collection of Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch. The couple donated about 150 works valued at $186 million.
According to The Art Newspaper, a statement issued by the Association of Restorers said the move poses a “significant conservation risk” and that the Pietzsch collection should only be moved once a proper home is found for the Old Masters:
“Only then can transport be reduced and the possibility that large parts of the collection will disappear into stores for years be avoided,” the statement said. “Any handling, packaging and transportation—even within the building—means mechanical stress and climatic changes to the works, which weakens their substance.”