Winner of the first call for projects «Equipments d'excellence» launched by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research within the framework of Investments d'avenir, the New Aglae project (Nouvel Accélérateur Grand Louvre d'Analyse Elémentaire) will make it possible to deeply renovate the Aglae particle accelerator, which was set up in 1988 at the Louvre, within the museum research laboratory in France, for non-invasive chemical analysis (without sampling) of works of art.

This equipment, which plays a key role in improving knowledge of the techniques of manufacture, restoration and conservation of works of art, has made it possible to revolutionize the techniques of study and preservation of these works.

The support granted, of €1,450,000 - plus an exceptional grant from the City of Paris of €250,000 - will make this tool unique in Europe even more effective, by stabilizing the ion beam and automating the assembly to operate in imaging mode instead of point analysis. Aglae, the only particle accelerator exclusively dedicated to heritage, a European centre of excellence, will once again become one of the best in the world.

New Aglae distinguished itself among the 336 projects received following the call launched in June 2010, the 52 winners of which were selected on the basis of the evaluations and recommendations of an international scientific jury.

The recognition of the level of excellence of this project through the allocation of these exceptional resources makes it possible to crown the work of the CNRS and C2RMF teams. It recalls that research on heritage in all its diversity is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, as evidenced by the project of the National Centre for Heritage Conservation, Restoration and Research in Cergy-Pontoise, which will combine after 2015, with the reserves of several national museums, including the Louvre, the skills of the C2RMF and the LRMH (Laboratoire de recherche des Monuments historiques), as well as the training of conservators of the National Heritage Institute.