Dr Plenderleith, who had directed the British Museum’s museum laboratory from 1924, was tapped by UNESCO in 1959 to lead the newly founded Rome Centre, later known as ICCROM. Plenderleith guided the fledgling organization from a small core of five original Member States to 55 Member States by the end of his tenure in 1971. These early years saw ICCROM’s participation in many dramatic initiatives including the UNESCO campaigns to save the Nubian monuments, the Nefertari Tomb, Mohenjo Daro, Borobudur and other sites, and formed the basis of ICCROM’s activities and services today.
The portrait bust was commissioned by ICCROM for presentation at a ceremony on 29 November 1995 to honour Dr Plenderleith during ICCROM’s 19th General Assembly, when Plenderleith was 97 years old.
Peter Rockwell is a noted sculptor and stone carving historian and specialist, who has been a frequent lecturer on ICCROM courses. He also is the creator of the ICCROM Award statue, presented to individuals who have made outstanding contribution to the field of cultural heritage conservation and to the development of ICCROM.
ICCROM is grateful to Mr Rockwell for the generous donation of the gypsum preparatory study. Also in attendance at the presentation were Sophy Janowski, ICCROM’s Chief Management Officer; María Mata Caravaca, Archivist; and Paul Arenson, Manager, Knowledge and Communications.
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