UNESCO and ICCROM Join Forces to Protect Cultural Heritage

October 16, 2017

UNESCO and ICCROM Join ForcesThe United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) signed a landmark agreement on Friday 13 October in a new effort to address mounting threats to cultural properties worldwide.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters, the two agencies agreed to intensify efforts to implement the 1972 World Heritage Convention. They will also boost cooperation in addressing a number of specific challenges, including destruction of cultural property in armed conflict, disaster risk management, illicit trafficking in heritage objects and new risks to intangible cultural heritage. Continue reading…


ICCROM attends G7 Roma-Lyon Group meeting

October 13, 2017

Fabrizio Parrulli The second G7 Roma-Lyon Group meeting was held in Rome from 3 to 5 October.  This work group, created under the 2001 G8 Italian Presidency, is run by the law enforcement sector and is devoted to formulating counter-terrorism strategies and combating transnational crimes.

Brigadier General Fabrizio Parrulli, Commander of the Carabinieri Headquarters for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage (TPC), opened the proceedings.

ICCROM participated in the first day’s Expert Group Meeting: “Cultural Heritage, the Mirror of Identity” on cataloguing, collecting and sharing data for the protection of cultural heritage and the art market.

Delegates from the G7 countries and experts from international organizations attending the meeting called for maximum co-operation to end the illicit trafficking of antiquities from Syria, Iraq and beyond.

On the occasion of this meeting, ICCROM’s Director-General, Dr Stefano De Caro, observed, “This important event reaffirms the engagement of the G7 nations in the protection and restoration of cultural heritage endangered by conflicts and natural disasters.  ICCROM welcomes and supports all such international collaboration efforts in favour of protection for cultural heritage and for those charged with stewarding it.” Continue reading…


Walter Persegati, 1920-2017

Walter PersegatiICCROM has learned with great sadness of the death of Walter Persegati at the age of 96 years.

Very active in his youth in the Young Catholic movement, Persegati organized among other things the reception of European refugees in the United States during the 1950s. He returned to Italy and collaborated with Caritas International, and was also representative of the Holy See to the FAO, where he distinguished himself for his qualities as an organizer. In 1972 he was appointed Secretary-General and Treasurer of the Vatican Museums with the immediate and main task of reorganizing the establishment in order to prepare for the millions of pilgrims expected for the Holy Year of 1975. He remained in this post until his retirement in 1998.

In three years he created an exemplary museum, a stand-out amidst all the major European museums, where public reception goes hand in hand with security, where the training of personnel at all levels is undertaken together with the conservation of the artworks.

From 1975 to 1991 Persegati received the participants on the ICCROM Course on Prevention in Museums, accompanying them on study tours of the Museum. Those who had the good fortune to hear him still remember his vision and pragmatism which he expressed with a very British humor. He explained the original system developed to provide visitors with five possible routes depending on their available time, from one to six hours. He called this last “the kamikaze route” which ensured that visitors passed before 18 kilometers of walls with exposed artworks. Continue reading…


Peter Rockwell Donation

October 11, 2017

Peter Rockwell DonationIn September 2017, Mr Peter Rockwell, noted sculptor and specialist in historic stone carving techniques, made a significant donation of books and photographic documentation to the ICCROM Library and Archive. These materials were gifted on the occasion of Rockwell’s return to the United States after over five decades of residence in Rome. They are intended by Rockwell to support the research of ICCROM’s community of conservation scholars and professionals.

The book donation consists of approximately five linear meters of publications in English, Italian, and German that constitute a useful reference collection on stone working techniques, documentation of stone work, particularly in Europe and South Asia (Pakistan and India), as well as art history reference works. These books will be publicly available for researchers in the Library. Continue reading…


ICCROM Joins UNESCO in Lauding Syria Top Antiquities Official

October 6, 2017

Palmyra, Temple of Bel © DRICCROM’s Director-General Dr Stefano De Caro joined Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO in praising Dr Maamoun Abdulkarim of Syria, for his tireless efforts to safeguard the country’s cultural assets during these years of war. Dr Abdulkarim’s five-year term as Syria’s Director-General for Museums and Antiquities coincided with a devastating conflict which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead, and has greatly imperiled Syria’s rich cultural heritage.

“During his immensely difficult tenure, Dr Abdulkarim managed to do the impossible by working tirelessly to protect Syria’s World Heritage Sites and the artefacts exhibited in the country’s museums,” said De Caro. “Syria was lucky to have a man of his stature during such a challenging time, and I personally am honoured to have been able to work with him through these years,” he added. Continue reading…


Maurizio Marabelli (1934 – 2017)

October 5, 2017

Maurizio MarabelliIt is with sadness that ICCROM announces the recent passing of Maurizio Marabelli on 19 September 2017, after a long illness.

A graduate of Chemistry from the Sapienza University of Rome, he began his career in 1964 at the Istituto Centrale del Restauro (ICR; now Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro  ̶  ISCR). In 1980 he became the Director of the Chemistry Laboratory, a position he kept until his retirement in 2001.

His main fields of study and scientific interest were: the conservation of metals and wall paintings, the application of non-destructive analytical techniques, and the monitoring of air pollutants and their effects on both indoor and outdoor works of art. Continue reading…


RE-ORG Nigeria: project implementation across the country

September 26, 2017

RE-ORG Nigeria: project implementation across the countryThe first RE-ORG workshop ever held in Africa took place at the Jos National Museum, Nigeria in May 2017. After its conclusion, participants from 12 museums from every corner of Nigeria went back to their institutions to revise and implement their reorganization plans, using the RE-ORG methodology to tackle problems of overcrowding of objects and poor storage conditions.

By the end of August 2017, all 12 museums had submitted their own “Home Projects.” These were eligible for grants up to $1,500 to provide equipment and material to leverage their modest institutional resources and to complement the knowledge, skills and innovating spirit of their staff. The Re-Org Nigeria project teams include personnel from the documentation, curatorial and administrative areas, along with electricians, carpenters, and security guards. Continue reading…


Earthquake in Mexico

September 20, 2017

Earthquake in MexicoIn the wake of the severe 7.1 earthquake that struck Central Mexico in the afternoon of 19 September bringing terrible loss of life, ICCROM stands with the people of that nation and with all our colleagues in the professional community responsible for protecting heritage, the memory of the people and the foundation of its future. Continue reading…


Japanese Paper Course Closes

International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper, 28 August to 15 September 2017

Japanese Paper Course Closes - Logos

Japanese Paper Course ClosesThe 2017 edition of the JPC-Japanese Paper Conservation course closed in Tokyo on 15 September. This highly specialized three-week event was held from 28 August to 15 September 2017.

The course aims to offer a holistic knowledge and experience of Japanese paper and Japanese traditional conservation approaches and techniques to ten conservation professionals coming from a range of Member States.

A mix of lectures, demonstrations and practical sessions presented an insight into the techniques of the Japanese paper-mounting tradition, along with materials such as Japanese paper, adhesives including wheat starch paste, and the principles guiding the care of such collections in Japan. The practical sessions were conducted by instructors from a certified group holding the Selected Conservation Techniques on “Restoration Techniques of Mounting.” Continue reading…


Management and Monitoring of World Heritage Sites in China

August 30, 2017

Management and Monitoring of World Heritage Sites in China

Course on Management and Monitoring of World Heritage Sites with special reference to China, 14-25 August 2017

Management and Monitoring of World Heritage Sites in ChinaThe cultural landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces in China was the site of the just-completed Course on Management and Monitoring of World Heritage Sites with special reference to China.  Nineteen participants from ten countries attended the ten-day course to learn about current thinking, trends and approaches to management of cultural World Heritage properties, focusing particularly on monitoring.

The Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, located in Yunnan, China, are the home of the Hani ethnic group who have maintained this historic agricultural landscape over many centuries. The course constituted an intensive programme combining both theory and practice, through lectures, case studies and highly interactive practical exercises centring on the management of this important cultural landscape. Continue reading…