The two-month 20th International Course on Stone Conservation, implemented by ICCROM in collaboration with Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), took place in Mexico from 19 March to 18 May. The course was to have taken place in 2017, but the tragic earthquakes that struck Mexico in September of that year forced postponement until March 2018.
During the first month, 18 participants from 18 countries around the world met in Mexico City at the INAH Coordinación Nacional de Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural (CNCPC) in Churubusco. There they attended presentations from a broad range of professionals and took advantage of facilities at INAH and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Lectures ranged from the history and culture of Mexico to materials and decay mechanisms. Practical exercises linked theory to its applications. For the second month, the participants worked in the ancient Mayan city of Chicanná in Campeche Province. There, field exercises at Calakmul Biosphere Reserve and the Mayan temples enabled them to approach stone conservation issues from an integrated and holistic point of view.
Moving this course outside Italy for the first time allowed application of this important training to non-European conservation contexts. ICCROM implemented this course in collaboration with INAH and the Government of Mexico, with the support of numerous local partners and institutions.