Nobuo Ito (1925 – 2015)

November 9, 2015

Dr Nobuo ITOThe sad news of the passing of Dr Nobuo Ito, at the age of 90, has reached ICCROM. Dr Ito was a distinguished professional, whose contribution to the Japanese conservation field as well as to development of international conservation concepts has been well recognized. Indeed, one of Ito’s particular merits could be seen in his keen working towards improved communication between East and West.

Dr Ito graduated from the Department of Architecture, University of Tokyo, in 1947. After graduation, he started to work for the Tokyo National Museum, becoming Director of the Department of Architecture. Subsequently, he was first Chief Inspector at the Cultural Properties Protection Department, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, and after retirement Director-General of the Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties. He actively sustained the Japanese Association for ‘Machinami’ Conservation and Regeneration, and started, from 1977, a series of yearly International Symposia on the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. He taught at the Kobe Design University, where he became Professor Emeritus. He was accredited as Bunkakorosha (a person of Cultural Merits) in Japan on account of his important contributions to the field of preservation of cultural properties throughout his life. Continue reading…


Laura Mora (1923 – 2015)

June 5, 2015

Obituary of Laura Mora
Laura Mora restoring a Canaletto painting, 1966

Laura Sbordoni Mora, famed paintings and mural paintings conservator, has died in Rome. She was 92 years old. A frequent collaborator and permanent consultant of ICCROM, she was a chief restorer at the Italian Istituto Centrale del Restauro (ICR), active in restoration over a period of more than 50 years, and was also my mentor, colleague and friend.

Born Laura Sbordoni, she was a fundamental part of a team of close collaborators that included her future husband and fellow conservator Paolo Mora. Also closely involved were art historian and critic Giovanni Urbani, and theorist Cesare Brandi who, together with Giulio Carlo Argan, founded the ICR, the principal Italian institute for conservation practice, in the late 1930s. Together they played a key role as researchers and teachers, in establishing modern conservation practice and in promoting the image of excellence in Italian restoration and restorers, now famous throughout the world. Continue reading…


Ron Van Oers

April 30, 2015

Ron on 27 April 2015 in Lhasa.
Ron on 27 April 2015 in Lhasa.

I was both privileged and deeply saddened to spend time with Ron, just before his tragic death on 28 April 2015. We were both on a World Heritage Reactive Monitoring Mission, in the city of Lhasa in China. His sudden departure was a shocking experience to me as much as to all of you.

Ron was a personal friend of mine before he entered the UNESCO world. He was introduced to me in 1998 by late Prof Fritz Van Voorden of Delft University of the Netherlands, under whose guidance we both obtained our doctoral degrees. Since then, he was a close friend and a colleague, and his departure in this manner is hard to cope with. I am well aware how much you will miss him as a professional and a colleague.

I should take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation to all Chinese authorities (SACH, CACH, Governor’s office of Tibet autonomous region, Municipality of Lhasa, heritage institutions of all agencies) for supporting Ron from the moment he was taken ill, accompanying him to the hospital and for their extraordinary commitment and help. Continue reading…


Tom Stone

December 16, 2014

PREMA-TStoneICCROM wishes to remember Tom Stone, who passed away on Saturday, 6 December 6 2014, in his 68th year. Tom was an outstanding object conservator who spent his entire fruitful carrier at the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI). He had a special interest and deep respect for the First Nations people and their cultures. He was also an excellent teacher; careful, generous and passionate. ICCROM benefited his knowledge and love for material culture in the framework of the PREMA programme (Prevention in the Museums of Africa) for which he was involved as a teacher and also as a designer of teaching tools for the training of future trainers.

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Solange Zuñiga (1943 – 2014)

June 30, 2014

solange-1ICCROM and the international professional community have received with great sadness the news of the death of Solange Zuñiga in her home town of Rio de Janeiro.

Solange was an important pillar in the development of conservation in Brazil. She began her academic career as a historian, but archives, libraries and historic photographic collections were always close to her heart. Solange continued her research and academic studies throughout her life, as learning and furthering knowledge were a way of life for her. She obtained her first degree in history in 1967, and a doctorate in information science in 2005. This shift in disciplines reflects the way in which she was able to consistently interweave her academic interests with practical developments in the heritage field.

Solange had a genuine interest in both the long history and the daily pulse of cultural policy-making. This interest was an especially precious resource for a young profession such as conservation-restoration, which was finding its place and role in Brazil. Over the years, Solange was an important influence in many institutions, including ABRACOR, the Associação Brasileira de Conservadores-Restauradores de Bens Culturais. Continue reading…


Alejandro Alva Balderrama (1945 – 2014)

March 26, 2014

1It is with profound sadness that ICCROM has learned of the death of our friend and long-time colleague, Alejandro Alva Balderrama.  Alejandro began his collaboration with ICCROM as a participant in the Architectural Conservation Course (ARC) in 1978, and retired in 2005 as the Unit Director for the Architecture and Archaeological Sites Unit at ICCROM.

Alejandro was born in 1945 in Peru, the son of the famous architect Alejandro Alva Manfredi, a strong advocate of conservation and preservation of pre-Colombian and colonial architecture. His father led the restoration of many historic buildings and urban areas in Peru, and his legacy is important to this day.

Alejandro studied at the Faculty of Architecture of the Universidad Ricardo Palma in Lima. After graduation, he spent a number of formative years working in Juli, in the Andean region of Puno, where he developed his life-long interest in traditional technologies, particularly those employing earthen materials. It was in this area, the conservation of earthen architecture, that Alejandro would make his most important contributions to the field of conservation at the international level. Continue reading…


Satoshi Yamato (1953 – 2014)

March 24, 2014

2007 09 14 Acireale, TW-SS-SY (2)It is with deep sadness that ICCROM has learned of the death of our good friend and colleague, Mr. Satoshi Yamato. Mr. Yamato was a noted Japanese conservation architect who worked at the Bunkacho (Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs), as Councillor for Cultural Properties.

Mr. Yamato’s first involvement with ICCROM was his participation in the 1994 edition of the Architectural Conservation Course (ARC) held in Rome. From 2002 onward, he lectured on the International Course on Wood Conservation Technology which takes place in Oslo, Norway. He was scheduled to lecture again on this course in June 2014. He lectured between 2002 and 2007 on a regional wood conservation course held in Nara, Japan in partnership with the ACCU Nara Office. He was also a speaker at the 2007 ICCROM Forum on Privatization and Cultural Heritage. Continue reading…