Heritage Material Samples

Currently, the Archives hold more than 5 000 heritage material samples collected and donated to ICCROM by well-known conservators and conservation scientists, such as Paolo Mora and Laura Sbordoni Mora, Giorgio Torraca and Rodolfo Luján-Lunsford. They are composed of fragments of different natures (mural paintings, rocks, metals, glasses, ceramics, textiles, etc.) from around 45 countries spanning from Europe (Czech Republic, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Serbia, etc.), Africa (mainly from Egypt but also from Ethiopia, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), the Americas (Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru) and Asia (Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Myanmar, Oman, Nepal, the Republic of 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 (including the Lascaux Caves, Nefertari's Tomb, Pompeii, Göreme churches, Persepolis and Masada, among others), taking samples is nowadays prohibited. Today these samples could be reused by applying non-destructive analysis techniques and, together with contextual information available in ICCROM's Archives, could allow further investigation and knowledge of these sites.