Rome, Italy – The 30th General Assembly of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), held from 29 November – 1 December in Rome, will provide a platform to stimulate dialogue on sustainable approaches to the reconstruction of destroyed and damaged historic cities. Delegations of ICCROM’s 135 Member States will meet at this three-day event to discuss and endorse the Rome-based agency’s strategic directions and work plan, and elect its governing Council. The General Assembly will also ratify the nomination of its next Director-General, nominated by the executive Council for a six-year period of leadership.
ICCROM’s current Director-General, Stefano De Caro, thanked the Member States for their participation and continuing support of ICCROM’s programmes to build capacities within the professional community for safeguarding irreplaceable heritage. He highlighted ICCROM’s willingness to put its expertise at the service of post-war heritage recovery and reconstruction in crisis zones around the world, leveraging heritage for the benefit of communities, particularly in Libya, Syria and Yemen, once conditions on the ground become safe enough to do so. Continue reading…
ICCROM and UNESCO’s handbook to save heritage collections in emergencies now available for free download for Arabic readers
Armed conflicts and natural disasters causing deliberate or collateral damage to cultural heritage are more prominent than ever. To help strengthen efforts to save collections from imminent threats, ICCROM and UNESCO joined forces last year to produce Endangered Heritage: Emergency Evacuation of Heritage Collections, a practical handbook available for free download.
This publication was widely received by readers worldwide, and efforts are now underway to make it available in a variety of languages.
ICCROM is pleased to announce that a version is now available in Arabic, thanks to the efforts of the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation, which has adapted the original text and workflow to the regional context.
Built upon years of experience and real-life situations, this publication offers a field-tested, simple workflow for the emergency evacuation of valuable objects. A multi-purpose guide, it is created with a variety of users in mind, with simple language and layout intended for heritage personnel, emergency responders and civilians alike. It offers guidance on when and how to intervene to protect endangered heritage, its illustrations and charts helping readers to understand quickly and begin working. Continue reading…
The National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage (NRICH) of Korea hosted the international ICCROM CollAsia course on Packing and Storing Objects and Collections – Tradition and Modernity in Daejeon, Republic of Korea, from 11 – 25 October 2017. The course, one outcome of a five-year agreement (2012-2017) between the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) and ICCROM, involved 24 professionals from 16 countries with different backgrounds in heritage conservation.
The challenge of packing and storing movable collections was the focus of the two-week course. The objective was to develop a shared understanding by identifying core functions in order to make effective choices of methods and materials. Interactive learning modalities, which have become a distinctive feature of the CollAsia programme, were used throughout. A didactic collection of diverse objects, together with different packing and storing materials, provided concrete learning opportunities and a basis for small-group exercises. Participants were challenged to discuss strengths and weaknesses of different packing and storing materials, techniques and procedures, in relation to different scenarios.
Lectures by the teaching team introduced ways to identify risks related to packing and storing, suitable materials to respond to those risks, and how to take effective and sustainable decisions for the preservation and use of collections. Participants explored changes in cultural values and material properties, recognizing the vulnerabilities of heritage objects to different situations. Exercises were developed to underline the principles behind the topics discussed. These broad issues could vary from the impacts of the environment on collection management to the importance of documentation for tracking objects in different circumstances. The participants were challenged to think systemically, in order to understand changes in both material properties and values, both in objects and in the enclosures around them. Packing and storing were always considered as responses to specific institutional functions.
Study visits and demonstrations helped to build bridges between tangible and intangible heritage and to stress the connection between movable and immovable heritage. The use of traditional paulownia boxes in both Korea and Japan and the packing of ‘ham’, the traditional Korean wedding box, showed the complex relation between objects and containers. This relation was also considered on a bigger scale via study visits to traditional Korean houses at the Youheodang village, and to the National Palace Museum and the National University of Cultural Heritage (NUCH) in Seoul.
The classroom sessions alternated small-group exercises with plenary discussions and case studies in order to provide examples of both day-to-day work and applied research. Further examples were provided by the pictures and presentations that the participants brought from their own institutions. The incredible variety of challenges and possible solutions presented showed the benefits of locally available traditional materials and techniques, when these are applied to respond to specific functions and not to fixed ‘recipes’.
The participants were encouraged to build knowledge together through a series of sessions dedicated to formulating collaborative research proposals. The aim was to stress the importance of arriving at clear and precise research questions in order to respond to specific challenges related to packing and storing. Such research collaboration can help to build long-term perspectives for the collections and the people working with them. This approach, which constituted the ‘red thread’ running through the entire course, can help in expanding professional perspectives and skills in a concrete way. Professionals are challenged to develop their critical thinking skills in order to identify questions, problems and effective responses, and to learn how to communicate them. The unique opportunity to share interactive learning experiences with colleagues from different countries and different backgrounds, a standard feature of CollAsia courses, increases the learning potentialities and opens windows for further collaborative projects.
CollAsia is an important activity of ICCROM. It is an educational program aiming to improve conditions for the conservation of movable heritage collections in Southeast Asian countries. CollAsia focuses on continuous professional development activities (CPD).
CollAsia was developed at the request of Member States of ICCROM. In 2003, ICCROM and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts, widely known as SEAMEO-SPAFA, launched the CollAsia program to improve conservation conditions for Southeast Asian collections. The program had the financial support of the Getty Foundation. Since 2012, CollAsia has continued thanks to the generous support of the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration, which provides ICCROM with the core founding for ongoing CollAsia activities.
Member States represented: Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Non-Member State: Timor-Leste
On 6 November the Director of the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, Dr Goranka Horjan, welcomed 26 museum professionals for a two-week RE-ORG workshop in the National Museum’s storage areas. The participants, 21 from Croatian museums and 5 from Slovenian museums, are reorganizing 24 storage rooms of the National Museum over ten working days.
After agreeing on a common objective, the participants identified three main steps: creating a temporary localization system, freeing the storage corridors and furniture from non-collection objects, and regrouping collections dispersed in various rooms or on different floors. To achieve their goals, the participants are being followed by a teaching team involving RE-ORG mentors from Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia.
This activity follows the July launch of the Croatian National RE-ORG Project, a three-day “Training of Trainers” workshop given to five Croatian professionals. On this occasion, Gaël de Guichen gave a public lecture on the RE-ORG programme attended by 76 colleagues including representatives from the Ministry of Culture and the City of Zagreb. Continue reading…
In August and September 2017, meetings took place in Argentina related to the preservation of contemporary art and to sound and image conservation. These activities support both the regional LATAM initiative for conservation of heritage in Latin America and the SOIMA programme for Sound and Image Collections Conservation promoted by ICCROM.
A pilot needs assessment survey for conservation management of contemporary art collections
Over 2017, ICCROM together the Dirección Nacional de Bienes y Sitios Culturales (DNBSC), Ministry of Culture, Argentina developed and carried out a pilot survey of museums with contemporary art collections and their umbrella institutions in Argentina on national, provincial and local levels. The results highlights the key issues museums meet with this kind of collections, including their quick growth (collections double in 30 years), the intense loaning and lending activities that affect 80% of the museums, and common challenges including overcrowded storage, conservation of new materials, and legislation and policy needs. The results of the pilot survey will be used to extend the data collection to other countries in the region, in the goal of organizing a training initiative in 2018-2019. Continue reading…
On 25 October 2017, the Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea (CHA) and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) signed a Framework Arrangement in Daejeon, Republic of Korea. This marks the second phase of the collaboration embarked upon in 2012. Under this Framework Arrangement, the two institutions agreed to pursue cooperation for education, training and research in cultural heritage conservation in the Asia Pacific region during the period of 2018-2022. The arrangement was signed by the CHA Administrator, Kim Jongjin, and by ICCROM’s Director-General, Dr Stefano De Caro.
The signing of the arrangement was the occasion for a joint public conference reflecting on the activities of the past five years and identifying future areas of cooperation. The 2017 CollAsia course was concluded during this event, while the final Annual Thematic Forum was opened on the topic of “Conservation of Asian Heritage.”
For the past five years, from 2013 to 2017, CHA has supported training activities in line with the CollAsia programme previously implemented by ICCROM, together with an annual Thematic Forum on selected topics of common interest. While focusing on Asia in particular and contributing to the regional capacity-building processes, the programme has also proved beneficial on a global scale, with professionals from around the world working to understand key conservation concepts in an Asian context. Continue reading…
ICCROM has participated in the Voices of Culture structured dialogue opened by the European Commission with selected stakeholders on the topic “Skills, Training and Knowledge Transfer: traditional and emerging heritage.”
While European expertise in heritage preservation and conservation is famed worldwide, the combined effects of the age pyramid and cuts in public budgets are affecting the transmission of knowledge and skills to the younger generations, weakening the sector’s potential to thrive into the future. At the same time, the skill set needed to care for and manage heritage is constantly broadening as well as deepening due to new technologies, economic and social pressures, innovations in work methods, and developments in both the definition and scope of heritage.
Policy attention is thus recommended on a sector-wide, macro-planning level in order to maintain the vigorous role that culture and heritage have historically played in the cultural, social and economic life of Europe. As well, culture and heritage should be positioned dynamically as drivers for future development. Culture can thereby support job creation, social inclusion, and cultural diversity along with the requalification of urban and rural at-risk zones. Continue reading…
Il Museo del Cine di Buenos Aires, museo piccolo e relativamente sconosciuto – sta lavorando coraggiosamente per salvare il patrimonio creativo più prezioso dell’America latina. Dedicata alla storia cinematografica dell’Argentina, la maggior parte della collezione è costituita attualmente da decine di migliaia di bobine di film e videocassette che si stanno disintegrando e stanno svanendo nell’obsolescenza.
In Siria, paese distrutto dalla guerra, la conservazione del patrimonio documentario è una priorità assoluta, eppure questo compito così smisurato è svolto da solo una manciata di professionisti siriani sfollati che, pur essendo lontani dalla loro patria, rimangono legati ad essa attraverso suoni e immagini.
E in un’altra parte del mondo, un’interprete di canti funebri sta lavorando diligentemente per mantenere vive le tradizioni funerarie del Kenya, registrando le sue performance in archivi di suoni e immagini accessibili.
Storie di lotte simili non sono isolate e tendono a suscitare risposte sporadiche. Eppure, in un clima di imprevedibilità e di rapido cambiamento tecnologico, le istituzioni culturali sottofinanziate di tutto il mondo possono vincere la corsa contro il tempo e l’obsolescenza tecnologica, oppure i nostri ricordi collettivi e le diverse espressioni creative sono destinate a perire e a pagare le conseguenze dell’inazione?
SOIMA: Sblocco Patrimonio Suono e Immagine è un libro online scaricabile gratuitamente, che offre suggerimenti e consigli di professionisti esperti provenienti da ogni angolo del mondo, per la conservazione e l’uso creativo del patrimonio di suoni e immagini. Dotato di esempi e strategie accattivanti fondati sulla ricerca basata su prove, questa risorsa interesserà indistintamente collezionisti, utenti e formatori.
Course on Promoting People-Centred Approaches to Conservation, 10-20 October 2017
Travelling the length of Italy – from Naples via Rome to Trento – 22 participants have explored the challenge of putting people back into the centre of conservation. The aim of the People-Centred Approaches (PCA) course has been to strengthen practitioners’ understanding of communities as a core component of heritage management and so ensuring that natural and cultural heritage has a dynamic and mutually beneficial role in society today and long into the future.
This course was also an opportunity to create a forum for participants to share their own experiences from both the cultural and natural heritage sectors, learning from each other and others who are actively involved with communities and heritage. Over two weeks they enjoyed a rich programme of presentations, interactive sessions on sharing experiences, site visits and practical exercises based on examples in the field. Visits took in diverse components of World Heritage properties including the “Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata”, “The Dolomites” and “Prehistoric Pile Dwellings Around the Alps,” as well as the “Ledro Alps and Judicaria” and the “Somma-Vesuvio and Miglio d’Oro” Biosphere Reserves, in addition to the MuSe museum. Continue reading…
Designing for Change: International Workshop on First Aid for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis
16-20th October 2017
On 16-20 October, ICCROM hosted a design workshop on First Aid for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAC), organized in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, USA and the Prince Claus Fund, the Netherlands. Other partner institutions participating include UNESCO, CRAterre (France), Italian Civil Protection, and Ritsumeikan University (Japan).
The design workshop aimed to review the existing First Aid international training, and identify content as well as activities for developing a self sustainable and effective network of cultural first aiders. Using the human centred design approach, the workshop drew on the diverse experiences of former participants, practitioners, and key resource people to:
- refine the topics and modes of delivery of the existing First Aid training,
- identify contents and teaching strategies for training of trainers,
- agree on activities and institutional pre-arrangements for developing a sustainable and functional network of cultural first aiders over the next three years.