International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property


Alhambra Palace - Granada
Alhambra Palace - Granada

The Second World War claimed more lives than any other war in history and obliterated a great deal of cultural property that defined the communities in which they were erected. This included many historic cities of Europe.

In its aftermath, the world needed a technical institution dedicated to preserving, protecting and restoring what humanity had destroyed. In response, UNESCO created ICCROM and chose Rome as its headquarters. As home to ICCROM and as a beneficiary of its earliest efforts, Europe is a region with which the organization has always had close ties, and which has also had an important role to play in the conservation sector.

Sixty years later, humanity is faced yet again with large-scale and catastrophic developments – mass displacement of people, entrenched conflict, harshening climate. All are challenging cultural heritage preservation. Europe is again in a positon to both benefit from and serve ICCROM’s efforts. This is not only because these demographic, political and climatic forces are playing out within or near its borders, but also because Europe is able – and therefore responsible – to play a more universal role in enacting change.

ICCROM is eager to engage with a Europe that leverages everything from its resources, to experience and diplomatic know-how to model inclusive and engaged societies. Europe can take the lead in truly integrating refugees who come in search of safety, embracing the cultures they bring and incorporating them into Europe’s own. Europe can show how caring for culture is caring for people as heritage congregates and generates cohesion, understanding and even economic opportunity. And when Europe extends this work beyond its borders, it can demonstrate how the returns on cultural diplomacy are more stable, inclusive and just nations – indeed, a better world.


Latest News

Partners are essential for heritage conservation efforts, as collaboration can leverage various types of capital (e.g., financial, human, social, physical materials) for such activities as fundraising, management, research, education, and outreach. In disaster contexts, partnerships are needed to coordinate response efforts—and the importance of including cultural heritage conservation in response efforts is gaining more attention. In particular, ICCROM is increasingly viewed an important partner in both leveraging their network to access needed local expertise and training response workers in best management practices.

ICCROM is shocked and saddened by the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, and extends its heartfelt sympathy and solidarity with Parisians, the French people and the Catholic Church at this tragic time. It is a terrible loss for the world.

How should decisions be made regarding projects in or near World Heritage properties? This was the subject under discussion recently in Kotor, Montenegro, where ICCROM coordinated a course on Heritage Impact Assessments.

A new volume available for free download for those working on the protection, conservation, and management of archaeological heritage. One of few publications to address the issue of protective shelters, this book records the results of a week-long symposium in 2013 that used the archaeological site of Herculaneum as an “open classroom”.

The 2018 edition of Green Lab will show “Green” methods and solutions, both innovative and ready to use, for cultural heritage restoration. The aim of the course is to give insight into use of these materials and methods by professionals, especially restorers, in order to: observe the applicability, efficiency and effectiveness of the solutions presented; discuss the advantages and limitations together with the developers.

This short video offers a glimpse inside the ICCROM Mora Sample Collection, to share with you the findings of a new project launched in early 2018, and see the project team at work. The Mora Sample Collection is an important archive of historic wall paintings samples and fragments collected from heritage sites from around the world.

The Lake Ohrid region is home to one of the world’s oldest lakes and is one of Europe’s most important biodiversity hotspots. The surrounding region is also significant for its cultural heritage within and linked to the natural setting.

On 19-21 June, ICCROM participated in a disaster simulation exercise for salvage of cultural heritage, held in Lucca, Italy. The exercise was part of a multi-year initiative organized by the Italian Civil Protection Department under PROMEDHE, an EU funded project also involving the civil protection authorities of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan and Palestine.

The European Cultural Heritage Summit, held in Berlin, Germany from 18 to 24 June 2018, provided a venue to reflect on the present and future of cultural heritage in Europe.

On 11 June, Nina Shangina, Chairperson, Council of the Union of Restorers of St Petersburg and ICCROM Council Member, and Sergey Makarov, Chairman, Government of St. Petersburg Committee for State Preservaton of Historical and Cultural Monuments, visited ICCROM.