Nineteenth International Course on Stone Conservation

March 13, 2014

Course Announcement

Dates: 15 April – 3 July 2015

Place: ICCROM, Rome, Italy


  • ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property)
  • Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), United States

In cooperation with the Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome.

In many regions of the world stone was historically the predominant material used for building and artistic purposes. Accordingly, the conservation and maintenance of architectural and decorative stone is a core activity in such regions. Factors such as climate change, pollution, use demands, lack of maintenance, and inappropriate past treatments present challenges for the conservation of stone buildings, structures and objects. In addition to these factors, the decline in traditional building techniques, craft practices and repair methods is also threatening our ability to sustain stone structures and objects into the future. These conservation issues require a multidisciplinary approach that involves professionals, craftspeople, policy makers and owners.

The International Course on Stone Conservation was created in 1976, and 18 courses have successfully been conducted between then and 2013. The next course, which will take place in Rome in 2015, reflects advances in practice, science, and technology, including the integration of practical methodologies for stone conservation on sites, buildings and structures.

Course objectives and programme
The course adopts a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach and is designed for professionals involved in the conservation of historic stone structures and artifacts. The primary goal of the course is to improve the practice of stone conservation internationally by providing participants with a holistic understanding of the decay and deterioration of stone, disseminating effective conservation methodologies, and ensuring a practical understanding of appropriate repair methods and long-term management strategies. Through lectures, discussions, laboratory sessions, demonstrations, site visits and field exercises, participants will discuss both the fundamental theories of conservation as well as consider how advances in technology and research have influenced practical approaches as they pertain to all phases of stone conservation. Group fieldwork exercises at a worksite will provide participants with the opportunity to address actual work scenarios where multidisciplinary solutions and collaboration are required. Throughout the course, participants will be encouraged to draw upon their collective expertise from various specializations to help them arrive at more effective conservation solutions.

The course will be divided into six main units over eleven weeks. These units will include topics such as:

  • Conservation principles and theories;
  • Material sciences as a tool for identification, analysis, and design of conservation treatments;
  • Mechanisms of deterioration;
  • Diagnostic techniques for identifying causes and effects of observed conditions;
  • Condition assessment methodology;
  • Developing a conservation strategy for immediate and long-term actions including prevention, maintenance, repair and treatment;
  • Practical conservation techniques, managing a stone conservation project, and the value of working within multidisciplinary teams.

For a general overview of the course content, the course schedule for the 2013 course can be downloaded here. The Spring 2014 edition of the Friends of the Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome Newsletter also features an article about the hands-on component of the course carried out at the cemetery. Modifications to content and sequence for the 2015 course schedule should be anticipated.

The course may include a preparatory phase prior to arrival in Rome. This preparatory phase will include assigned readings to provide participants with a common knowledge base and familiarity with key literature that will be used during the course. The preparatory phase will be conducted in participants’ home countries.

During the course, participants will be expected to play an active role through contributing to discussions, exercises, and presentations reflecting their own professional experience.

The course is designed for a maximum of 20 participants. The course is open to archaeologists, architects, conservator-restorers, conservation scientists, engineers and other professionals involved in stone conservation, preferably with at least five years of practical working experience in the field.

Preference will be given to heritage conservation professionals in the public sector, teachers involved in the practical training of conservation professionals, and those in a position to disseminate and leverage the knowledge gained during the course to a wider audience. The participants will be selected from international conservation professionals.

Teaching team
Teaching staff will include an internationally recognized group of heritage conservation professionals who will represent a diverse array of perspectives based on their specialized expertise and their regional contexts.

The course will be conducted in English. Candidates must have a thorough technical knowledge and command of English. A certificate of language proficiency is required.

A certificate of attendance will be awarded to participants who satisfactorily complete the course and have attended at least 90% of all course activities.

Course fee: 1,300 € (Euro)

Travel, accommodation and living expenses
Participants will be responsible for their round trip travel costs to and from Rome. In order to cover accommodation and living expenses in Rome during the course, participants should plan for a minimum allowance of € 4,125 for the entire period.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to seek financial support from sources such as governmental institutions, employers and funding agencies. Depending on the availability of funding, the course organizers may be able to offer a limited number of scholarships to selected candidates who have been unable to secure funding.

Please fill out the ICCROM application form and send it together with the following two items by mail to the contact address below. Email applications are encouraged. In the event that it is not possible to provide a scanned version of the necessary photographs and signatures, it will also be necessary to send a paper copy.

  • A full professional curriculum vitae (in English)
  • A brief report (3-5 pages) answering the following questions:
  1. Describe the organization you work for and its role in stone conservation in your own country. What kinds of stone heritage is your organisation responsible for – built (immovable), collections (moveable), archaeological or other? Please describe.
  2. Describe a conservation project involving stone conservation for which you are or have been actively involved. Include the appropriate contextual background (objectives, partners, support, etc.), a description of difficulties encountered, and the strategic responses developed.
  3. In addition to the project described above, what other case studies might you be able to share during your participation in the course?
  4. What do you consider as your major achievement in stone conservation? Please describe what you did and why it is important to you.

Send applications to:

Stone Course 15
13, Via di S. Michele
I-00153 Rome, ITALY
Tel: 39 06 585 531
Fax: 39 06 5855 3349
E-mail: stonecourse15 (at) iccrom . org

Application deadline
Applications must be received by ICCROM by 1 August 2014 to ensure inclusion in the selection process.

See also

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