Transport of works of art

How to organise?

In the guide you will find:

Organising the transport of works of art is a task that requires a special approach and care. The value, uniqueness and specific characteristics of the objects make it necessary for both owners and carriers to pay special attention at every stage of the transport process. In this guide, we will take a closer look at the key aspects involved in organising the transport of works of art, which will avoid damage, guarantee the safe arrival of valuable objects at their destination and enable the efficient use of available means of transport.

How to secure works of art before transport?

Securing works of art against road transport requires a careful approach and the use of appropriate techniques and materials. Here is a detailed guide on how to professionally secure artworks for transport:

Documenting artworks: Before packing, photograph each work of art from different perspectives and ensure proper documentation. Make a note of any existing damage or defects to facilitate a possible insurance claim.

Choosing the right packing materials: Use high-quality materials such as bubble wrap, polythene foam, removal blanket, cardboard protective corners, painter's tape and customised boxes and crates to protect your artworks.

Securing frames and glass: For artwork framed with glass, apply painter's tape to the glass in an 'X' shape to protect it from possible breakage. Wrap the frame with bubble wrap or polythene foam and secure with cardboard protective corners.

Packing canvases and paintings: Wrap canvases and paintings without frames first with packing or kraft paper to avoid direct contact with the bubble wrap, which could damage the surface of the artwork. Then wrap with several layers of bubble wrap or polyethylene foam.

Securing sculptures and three-dimensional objects: For sculptures and other three-dimensional objects, wrap each piece with several layers of bubble wrap or polyethylene foam, concentrating especially on the delicate and protruding parts. Additionally, a moving blanket can be used to provide additional cushioning.

Placing artwork in boxes and crates: Fit boxes or crates to the size of the artwork to minimise the space in which the object could move. Fill in empty spaces with paper, bubble wrap or polythene foam to negate the risk of the artwork moving during transport. Label boxes and crates of artwork as 'Fragile' or 'Caution - Valuable' so that those responsible for transport know that they must handle them with care. If possible, also put arrows indicating the top of the box and information about the contents, such as "Painting" or "Sculpture".

Insuring artworks: Before transporting artworks, make sure they are properly insured. Contact your insurance company to determine the type and extent of insurance that will be most beneficial for the artworks being transported.

Preparing the destination: Before transporting, make sure that the destination is adequately prepared to receive the artworks. Provide adequate unloading space and conditions for storing the artworks, such as proper temperature, humidity and protection from sunlight.

Unload and check the condition of the artworks: When you arrive at the site, unload the artworks with due care. Make an initial inspection of the condition of the works of art, checking that they have not been damaged during transport. If necessary, report any irregularities to the transport company and to your insurer.

Remember that proper protection of works of art and careful transport planning are key to preserving the value and safety of the items being transported. It is important to follow the above tips and work with an experienced transport company to ensure the safe and professional transport of artworks by road.

What are the methods of transporting works of art?

Transporting works of art by road can be accomplished in a variety of ways, depending on the requirements and specifics of the items being transported. Here are some common methods of transporting works of art that provide adequate security and a professional approach:

Individual transport: For smaller works of art, such as paintings or sculptures, it is possible to transport the work yourself using your own vehicle. In this case, the key is to properly secure the artwork and to place it in the vehicle in such a way that it is not exposed to damage during the journey.

Courier services: For some works of art, it is possible to use professional courier services, which offer specialised transport services for valuable and fragile objects. When choosing a courier, it is worth paying attention to their experience, credentials and available insurance.

Removal company: For larger art collections, you can use removal companies that specialise in transporting valuable and fragile items. It is important to choose a company with the right experience and properly trained staff.

Specialist transport company: For the most valuable and demanding works of art, the best solution is to use a transport company that specialises in transporting works of art. Such companies have specialised equipment, climate-controlled vehicles and qualified personnel to ensure safe and professional transport.

Climate-controlled transport: For works of art that are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, it makes sense to use air-conditioned transport. Specialised climate-controlled vehicles ensure that the conditions inside the load space are constant, minimising the risk of damage from fluctuations in temperature or humidity.

GPS-controlled transport: For additional security and monitoring of the artworks being transported, GPS-controlled transport can be used. This allows you to track the location of the vehicle in real time and receive notifications of any downtime or route changes.

International transport: When transporting artworks abroad, it is worth paying attention to customs regulations and any documentation or insurance requirements. Some transport companies offer specialised services for the international transport of artworks, which can make the whole process easier.

In summary, transporting works of art by road can be achieved in a number of ways, which should be adapted to individual needs and the specifics of the items being transported. It is crucial to properly secure the artworks and to choose the right transport method to ensure that the artworks are transported safely and professionally to their final destination.

What affects the cost of transporting works of art?

The value of the artwork: Valuable and unique artwork may require specialised packaging, insurance and additional security features during transport, which increases the cost of transportation.

The weight and dimensions of the artwork: Heavier and larger works of art may generate higher transport costs due to the need for larger vehicles, specialised loading and unloading equipment and sufficient personnel.

The fragile and delicate nature of the artwork: Works of art that are easily damaged, such as ceramics, glass or sculptures made of delicate materials, require particularly careful and specialised packaging and transportation, which can affect transport costs.

Distance and transport time: Longer routes and shorter delivery times usually generate higher transport costs. Express shipments are more expensive than standard shipments.

Transport conditions: For works of art that require controlled conditions, such as constant temperature or humidity, transport costs may be higher due to specialised vehicles and monitoring systems.

Carrier: Companies specialising in transporting works of art may offer a higher level of service, but their prices may be higher than those of general carriers. Comparing quotes from different companies can help you choose the most suitable and competitive option.


What types of artworks are most commonly transported?

Works of art can be classified in various ways, but one of the main criteria is the creative technique and the form of representation. Here are some of the most commonly transported works of art:

Paintings: Works of art created on surfaces (canvas, wood, paper, wall) using painting techniques such as oil, acrylic, watercolour, gouache or pastel. Paintings can depict a variety of subjects, such as portraits, landscapes, still lifes or abstract compositions.

Sculptures: Three-dimensional works of art, made of various materials (stone, wood, metal, clay, resin). Sculptures can depict human figures, animal figures, abstract forms or spatial installations.

Graphics: Works of art resulting from the process of printing on a substrate (paper, fabric), using special matrices (woodcut, linocut, metalcut). Prints include prints that are limited in quantity and signed by the artist.

Ceramics: Works of art made from clay and other ceramic materials, fired in special kilns. Ceramics range from utilitarian objects to sculptures or other art forms.

Artistic textiles: Works of art made from fabrics and fibres, using techniques such as weaving, embroidery, fabric printing or felting. Artistic textiles can take many forms, from paintings to sculptures or spatial installations.