The International Course on Stone Conservation, implemented by ICCROM in collaboration with Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), has just been inaugurated in Mexico City. It was due to have taken place in 2017, but due to the tragic earthquakes that struck Mexico in September of last year, the course was postponed until March 2018.
Participants have arrived from 18 different countries, some of them travelling for several days across multiple continents, and are already sharing experiences and friendships.
The INAH staff, together with ICCROM, have prepared a warm welcome and an impressive array of national and international lecturers, site visits, museum visits and a training site at the Mayan city of Chicanná in Campeche province, which will provide a truly unique and impressive platform for the practical activities and site exercises.
The first month of the course is being held in Mexico City at the INAH Coordinación Nacional de Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural (CNCPC) in Churubusco where the focus will be on lectures delivered by experts on topics ranging from the history and culture of Mexico to materials and decay mechanisms, coupled with practical exercises linking theory to practice. The learning derived from lectures and practical sessions will be deepened through visits to important museums and sites, where participants will have the opportunity to interact directly with heritage professionals who face on a daily basis the conservation challenges discussed during the course.
The second month will take place in Campeche province at the ancient Mayan city of Chicanná, where the focus of the training will be much more practical and site-based. Training activities will continue with sessions in which the participants carry out field tests and research. Field-based learning, through examining and working with historic materials in the context of the site, will enable the participants to approach stone conservation issues from an integrated and holistic point of view. This experience will eventually culminate in the participants undertaking a hands-on conservation project drawing on the training and experience that they have acquired throughout the course.