Maickel van Bellegem


+44 (0)20 7323 8295


Maickel’s main responsibility is carrying out conservation, restoration and preservation of historical and archaeological metal objects for display (permanent and temporary exhibitions), loans, storage, and curatorial research purposes.

Maickel trained as a gold and silversmith in Schoonhoven (The Netherlands) and as a Metals conservator at the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). After graduating in 2003, Maickel worked for Het Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and as a freelance conservator for various Museums in the Netherlands (Museum Bronbeek, Kroller-Muller Museum) before starting at the British Museum in November 2005.

He has participated in fieldwork with the Syddansk Universitet for the underwater recording of the hull structure of a Tudor shipwreck and with the Butrint Foundation for the conservation of metal objects and coins recently excavated at the site of Butrint, Albania.

He has special interest in silverware and jewellery, Japanese metalwork, underwater archaeology, scientific analysis of materials and historical manufacture techniques.

Current projects

Corroding lead on Japanese lacquered objects. Research project for investigation of the possible treatment methods.

Medieval ciboria, conservation and analyses of a gilded copper alloy and enameled ciborium.

Previous projects

Corroding lead on Japanese lacquered objects. Research project for investigation of the problems.

Burmese lime boxes with a black bronze type alloy – a technical study and conservation problems.

Condition assessment and treatment of metal objects required for the refurbished Japanese Galleries (completed October 2006).

Conservation of metal artefacts for the Medieval Gallery 40, scheduled to open March 2009.

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

Member of the International Council Of Museums (ICOM), metals conservation workgroup.

Member of Historical Metallurgy Society.

Member of Nautical Archaeology Society.

Member of the Institute of Conservation (ICON).

Recent publications

M. van Bellegem, S. Roehrs and B. McLeod, ‘A Spanish Medieval altar set: new investigation and assessment of its date and manufacture’, in The British Museum Technical Bulletin, 2, (London, 2008).

M. van Bellegem, P. Craddock, P. Fletcher, S. LaNiece and R. Blurton, ‘The Black Bronzes of Burma’ in The British Museum Technical Bulletin 1 (London, November 2007).

M. van Bellegem, P. Fletcher, R. Blurton and P. Craddock, ‘Mylar, reproductions of the alloy, its patination and conservation decisions’ in Metal 07. Proceedings of the International Conference on Metals conservation, (Amsterdam 2007), pp.22-29.

P. Craddock, M. van Bellegem, P. Fletcher, R. Blurton, S. La Niece, ‘The Black Bronzes of Asia’ in The 6th International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys, Preprints (2006)

M. van Bellegem, et al, ‘Solder on Silver: historical usage and the problem of fretting’, in Metal 04, proceedings of the international conference on metals conservation, J. Ashton, D. Hallam (eds.), (Canberra 2004), pp. 104-113