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

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.

On Thursday 7 December, the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage was launched at the European Culture Forum in Milan, Italy. The European Year of Cultural Heritage will put the spotlight on Europe's wealth of cultural heritage, showcasing its role in fostering a shared sense of identity and building the future of Europe.

On 6 November the Director of the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, Dr Goranka Horjan, welcomed 26 museum professionals for a two-week RE-ORG workshop in the National Museum’s storage areas.

Travelling the length of Italy – from Naples via Rome to Trento – 22 participants have explored the challenge of putting people back into the centre of conservation. The aim of the People-Centred Approaches (PCA) course has been to strengthen practitioners’ understanding of communities as a core component of heritage management and so ensuring that natural and cultural heritage has a dynamic and mutually beneficial role in society today and long into the future.

Research is a communicative process. Its value is enhanced through knowledge exchange and incorporation into practice. Though impact has always been the primary motivation for research, designing research that generates impact beyond academia is not straightforward. It takes time, commitment, and a supportive working environment.

ICCROM’s third instalment of the International Summer School on Communication and Teaching Skills in Conservation and Science, 10 – 21 July 2017 in Rome, has recently been concluded. This two-week course brought together conservation professionals from 25 different countries and a range of professional backgrounds to investigate and explore alternative approaches to teaching and learning about conservation and science, while examining existing practices in the field.