Conservation Course 2023_ICCROM

After three intense weeks, the on-site portion of the 2023 ICCROM International Stone Conservation Course in Campeche, Mexico, concluded with a celebration ceremony on 2 December 2023. The ceremony, led by organizing authorities from Mexico – INAH, UACAM and UNAM – and ICCROM Director-General Webber Ndoro, marked the successful completion of the 21st edition of the course. 

The in-presence course followed an online segment from 11 September to 9 November 2023. This on-the-ground component allowed participants to apply the theoretical concepts they learned in the online lectures. These activities took place at the University of Campeche and the San Luis Battery, a historical fort of the walled city of Campeche, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Participants were able to practice documenting techniques (traditional and photogrammetry) in original archeological artefacts that were generously lent by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. The same techniques were then applied to the monument itself, thus producing an accurate condition assessment of the building. Alongside documentation and diagnosis, the group learned about conservation treatments such as cleaning, pinning and consolidation. 

Conservation Course 2023_ICCROM

Complementing practical sessions were three insightful study visits. Explorations of Edzná, Uxmal, and Kabah Archaeological sites, as well as museums in Campeche’s historical city center, enriched participants' understanding. 

The course's final project tasked participants with working in groups to document, diagnose and propose conservation measures for a historical façade in Campeche’s city centre. Despite time and access constraints, the teams skillfully applied course content to a real-world scenario, sparking insightful discussions during the closing and evaluation meeting. 

At the concluding ceremony, ICCROM Director-General Webber Ndoro reiterated ICCROM's dedication to professional training and the global dissemination of conservation best practices. He emphasized the value of forging robust professional networks among course participants. 

The 2023 Stone Course not only equipped participants with theoretical knowledge and practical skills but also fostered a collaborative environment that transcended geographical and disciplinary boundaries. As the course concluded, the exchange of ideas and experiences promised to leave a lasting impact on the professional journeys of all involved.