Materials and technology

Integrating Material Science and Technology with Conservation

An important part of ICCROM’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of conservation communities within its Member States, in order to achieve their goals sustainably through the use of materials science and technology.

Understanding the material composition, characteristics, and decay mechanisms of heritage objects, as well as the scientific principles underlying conservation materials, methods, and approaches, is crucial for making sound decisions about conservation strategies.

The rapid development of modern material culture, combined with a broadening awareness of what we define as cultural heritage is such that the range of specific types of materials to be considered has significantly increased.

Corrosion layers of a mirror viewed under polarized light. © ICCROM

The rapid changes in the physical and economic environment worldwide brought on by climate change and restructured financial and social realities, call for concerted and efficient action. Global reconsideration of acceptable resource allocation to conservation solutions requires reassessing the energy efficiency and long-term sustainability of current conservation methods and technologies. In this context, of particular importance is the identification and assessment of traditional and local conservation approaches. Accordingly, emphasis is placed on the ways in which material science and technology can facilitate the development of sustainable options in conservation practice.

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