Heritage Material Samples

Currently, the Archives hold more than 5 000 heritage material samples, collected and donated to ICCROM by well-known conservators/conservation scientists, such as Paolo Mora and Laura Sbordoni-Mora, Giorgio Torraca and Rodolfo Luján-Lunsford. They are composed by fragments of different nature (mural paintings, rocks, metals, glasses, ceramics, textiles, etc. ) from around 45 countries all over the world spanning from Europe (Czech Republic, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Serbia, etc.) to Africa (mostly from Egypt, but also from Ethiopia, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia), to the Americas (Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru) and Asia (Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Myanmar, Oman, Nepal, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, etc.).  

These collections are not only relevant for their historical value (the donated archive of Prof. Torraca was declared of “remarkable cultural interest” by the Italian government in 2014) but also because they constitute a unique resource for future conservation research. In the heritage sites documented in these archives (Lascaux Caves, Nefertari Tomb, Pompeii, Göreme churches, Persepolis, Masada, amongst others), taking of samples is nowadays prohibited. Today these samples could be reused applying non-destructive analysis techniques and, together with contextual information available in ICCROM’s Archives, could allow further investigation and knowledge of these sites.