Gustavianum: Transport to Tokyo in the name of science
With its exhibition The Art of Natural Science in Sweden, Gustavianum demonstrates the interplay between the arts and natural sciences in Sweden from the 17th to 19th centuries. In preparation for the opening of the exhibition, MTAB was responsible for transporting some of the most prominent works of science to the University Museum in Tokyo.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Sweden and Japan, we transported the first edition of Carl Peter Thunberg’s Flora Japonica and Carl Linnaeus’s Systema Naturae, along with a large number of works and pieces of cultural history from prominent figures in Uppsala. The goods were received at the airport in Tokyo and transported from there to the museum by our Japanese partners.
Specially built transport crates a must
When planning the transport, MTAB’s technicians visited Uppsala for a thorough examination of severalworks. Measurements, materials and special transportation needs were noted, and we had specially designed crates built in our workshop.
The exhibition contains original works from as early as the 1670s. Precision and caution are necessities when transporting such rare and delicate items. Each work required specially designed, airtight transport crates with just the right packing materials, as well as temperature-controlled vehicles.
An administrative challenge
Before our art truck set off for Copenhagen airport, we made sure that all the customs documents and transportation routines were in order. With international shipping, the planning and administration are crucial; if the documents are not all in place, there’s a risk that the project can’t be delivered at the right time to the right place.
Mikael Ahlund, deputy director of Uppsala University’s museum Gustavianum, tells us:
–The administrative exercise is a vital piece of the puzzle when transporting works internationally. We need to make sure that we don’t run into any obstacles on the way, no language difficulties or misunderstandings, and that all the papers are filled in correctly. If any customs documents are missing, for example, customs may demand to open the packaging, which can have terrible consequences for sensitive objects. That’s why we’re happy to have a company like MTAB, which has extensive competence in national and international transportation.
MTAB has experience in all levels of art transportation. They take responsibility for complex logistics tasks and make sure that all documents and routines are in order.They have transportation systems and drivers that we trust,
The fact that Sweden and Japan can come together through a mutual interest in scientific and art history means that we are building strong relations and broadening the perspective of art over national borders,
Read more about the exhibition: The Art of Natural Science in Sweden