Preventive conservation has become a leading theme in all fields of cultural property. Useful scientific and technical knowledge continues to grow but is often incorporated in current practice slowly, incorrectly, or not at all. Despite the best intentions, professionals and institutions dealing with the preservation of cultural property may apply unrealistic standards, guidelines or lists of best practice, with no clear sense of priority, or of realistic expected benefits. With limited resources, decision makers are usually confronted with difficult choices in planning conservation strategies. Risk Management, which informs and guides decision makers in many other fields, offers a sound methodology to establish priorities and design more efficient strategies for preventive conservation of cultural heritage. It allows an integrated view of all expected damages and loss to cultural property, and of their mitigation.
The course is based on the risk management methodology developed by ICCROM, the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) and the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE) in the last 10 years and applied already in many courses and case-studies.
The course reviews the risk concept in general, and its current interpretations and applications in the field of cultural heritage. It examines the best available research for estimating all types of risks. Participants practice each stage of this approach in teams, from the risk assessment of real museum collections, to the development of options for risk mitigation.