21st International Course on Stone Conservation – SC23

Dates and Method

  • Online: 11 September - 9 November 2023
  • In Campeche, Mexico: 12 November - 3 December 2023
  • Place: Online and Campeche, Mexico


  • Coordinación Nacional de Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural – Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (CNCPC-INAH
  • Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas – Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IIE-UNAM


21st International Course on Stone Conservation – SC23In 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 to 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, policymakers and owners.

The International Course on Stone Conservation was created in 1976, and 20 courses have successfully been conducted between then and 2009 in Venice, and from 2011 to 2015, it was held biennially in Rome, and it was then moved to Mexico in 2018.

The course reflects advances in practice, science, and technology, including the integration of practical methodologies for stone conservation on sites, buildings and structures. Due to continued international travel restrictions, and the available resources for online learning, the SC23 will be held partly online and with a field practice in the city of Campeche in Mexico.

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 artefacts. 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 online 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 take place over three months, two of them online, with synchronous meetings and discussions and group work, as well as time for questions at the end of each week.

The course schedule requires approximately three hours per day of online sessions, with synchronous participation. Participants will also be required to read additional materials. Please note that live meetings will be adjusted according to participants’ different time zones. A good and stable internet connection is necessary. The course is intensive, and we recommend that participants make sure they schedule sufficient time to be able to concentrate on the course. We do not recommend this course being combined with full-time employment.

During the three weeks in the city of Campeche and surrounding areas, participants will be involved in hands-on exercises.

The course will include:

  • Conservation Principles and Theories
  • Material and technical/constructive characteristics
  • 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
  • Documentation
  • Developing a conservation strategy for immediate and long-term actions, including prevention, maintenance, repair and treatment
  • Managing stone conservation projects and the value of working within multidisciplinary teams

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


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.

Teaching team

Teaching staff will include an internationally recognised 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 may be requested.


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

900 € (Euro)

Travel, accommodation and living expenses

Participants will be responsible for their round-trip travel costs to and from Campeche. In order to cover accommodation and living expenses in Mexico during the course, participants should plan for a minimum allowance of ca. 1,500 € 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 online form. To finalize the application, the following must be uploaded online. All the documentation must be submitted in English.
  • Portrait photo (allowed formats: gif, jpg, jpeg, png, tif, tiff, with a maximum file size of 3 MB)
  • Official endorsement (allowed formats: pdf, doc, docx, jpg, jpeg, png, tif, tiff with a maximum file size of 5 MB)
  • A full professional curriculum vitae. (Allowed formats: pdf, doc, docx with a maximum file size of 5 MB)
  • A brief report (3-5 pages) answering the following questions:( allowed formats: pdf, doc, docx, with a maximum file size of 5 MB)
    1. Describe the organization you work for and its role in stone conservation in your own country.  What kinds of stone heritage is your organization responsible for – built (immovable), collections (moveable), archaeological or other heritage?
    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 your major achievement in stone conservation?  Please describe what you did and why it is important to you.
  • Please note that your personal statement in the application form is a fundamental requirement. You are expected to write: “Why you are applying to this course, what you hope to learn from it, and how it will benefit your professional development and your institution.”

Application deadline

Applications must be received by ICCROM by 2 June 2023 at 11.59 CET to ensure inclusion in the selection process.

For further information, please contact SC23@iccrom.org.