On 25 November Antonio Almagro Gorbea, ICCROM Council Member from Spain from 1975-1976 and from 1979-1989, received the National Cultural Heritage Conservation and Restoration Prize for 2016. This prize is entitled in Spanish “Premio Nacional de Restauración y Conservación de Bienes Culturales” and is given on a yearly basis. Last year’s prize recipient was Nieves Valentín, current ICCROM Council Member from Spain since 2013.
The award jury offered the 2016 prize to Almagro based on the pioneering nature of his work, which applies new technologies to cultural heritage and develops interdisciplinary studies using a global approach in order to conserve and restore cultural property, including analysis of territorial and landscape dimensions.
Almagro, an architect and Research Professor at the CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, or Spanish National Research Council), has dual advanced specializations in urbanism and Islamic architecture. An innovator in the use of photogrammetric and infographic techniques for the survey of monuments, Almagro has participated in multiple projects both within Spain and internationally, including a detailed architectural survey of the Cathedral of Seville that was published in 2007.
Almagro holds memberships in CIPA (International Committee for Architectural Photogrammetry), ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites) and ISPRS (International Society of Photogrammetry and Remóte Sensing).
Prior to his activity at CSIC, Almagro was responsible for historic monuments in the Province of Aragón, under the General Direction of Fine Arts, where amongst other projects he participated in the restoration of the historic town of Albarracín.
In addition to his position as ICCROM Council Member, Antonio Almagro has represented Spain in ICCROM General Assemblies, and was an Architectural Conservation Course (ARC) 1973 course participant. In a 2005 interview at ICCROM, Almagro described how he helped spread within Spain the use of photogrammetric techniques learned from Maurice Carbonnell and Hans Foramitti, who lectured on photogrammetry during the ARC course:
“And the course of ICCROM, for me, was really fundamental. […] I met Maurice Carbonnell and Hans Foramitti, who taught me one of the professional fields that I was to undertake. Obviously, there was a longer study afterwards, but with Carbonnell I continued to be in touch until his retirement. […] After the course, I entered the state service of monuments in Spain in January 1975.
“In the 1980s, all administrative tasks in Spain were shifted from the ministries to the regional administrations. […] That was an opportunity for me to propose the establishment of a service of photogrammetry. […] Finally I had the money, and I was able to establish the laboratory at the ministry.”
Almagro has been a frequent lecturer on many ICCROM courses, sharing his knowledge during four editions of the ARIS (Architectural Records, Inventories and Information Systems for Conservation) course in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009, as well as ATHAR courses in Amman and Sharjah.
ICCROM offers Dr Antonio Almagro Gorbea warmest congratulations on his prestigious award.
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