International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
RoM February 2024 Giza urban planning thesis

A 1960s proposal to preserve built heritage in Giza

Experts, urban planners, architects, preservation specialists, and heritage site managers have spent decades aiming to requalify Giza and its surroundings, and numerous urban regeneration projects have been planned. The ICCROM Library conserves one of those never-realized plans in its collection. The dissertation titled, “Giza historical center: A study to preserve Egypt’s eternal architectural heritage within the living urban organism”, was...

Tunisia: Mihrab of the Kairouan Great Mosque, 1973

Tunisia: Mihrab of the Kairouan Great Mosque, 1973

This is a photograph of the upper part of the mihrab of the Great Mosque of Kairouan, a World Heritage site since 1988. It is a close-up of the half-dome, which is made of curved wood covered with thick plaster and painted with a complex vegetal motif - a common theme in Islamic art and architecture. The image was taken in 1973 by Franco Rigamonti and is part of a series of photographs documenting the restoration work carried out on the mihrab in...

History of Architectural Conservation

Jukka Jokilehto, "History of Architectural Conservation", from our Lead Librarian’s perspective

Jukka Jokilehto's influence on built heritage conservation through his book, A History of Architectural Conservation, and its translation into several languages is profound and far-reaching. Jokilehto, a Finnish architect and esteemed expert in urban planning, in addition to being ICCROM’s former coordinator of the Architectural Conservation course on and former Deputy Director General, has significantly contributed to the field through his...

Resource of the Month October 2023 - Laura Mora stands in front of Mayan monument

Mexico: Chaan Maun's Stela 1, Bonampak, 1968

In this photo from 1968, you see Laura Mora, a famed painting and mural painting conservator, in front of Stela 1, a Mesoamerican carved monument (stela), in Bonampak, Mexico. This relief area depicts an earth monster holding up the ruler Chaan Muan II, whose feet are visible at the top. The entire Stela is one of the tallest of the Mayan period at 20 feet (6.1 metres).

​​‘Pema and the Stolen Statue from Dolpa,’ a donated children’s book addressing illicit trade of cultural objects

‘Pema and the Stolen Statue from Dolpa,’ a donated children’s book addressing illicit trade of cultural objects

As we delve into September, we are delighted to announce a remarkable addition to our heritage education Library for youth. Emiline Smith has generously donated her children's storybook, 'Pema and the Stolen Statue from Dolpa.' This captivating narrative not only enriches our collection but also sheds light on an important global issue – the illicit trade of cultural objects.

RoM August 2023

Romania: Mural painting of the Humor Monastery, Tomb Chamber, 1972

The Humor Monastery is one of the best-preserved of the eight Painted Churches of Moldavia – a World Heritage site located in Romania. These churches were built between the 15th and 16th centuries and are most famous for their well-preserved and colourful external frescoes that are inspired by Byzantine art. At the request of the Romanian Department of Historic Monuments under the auspices of its Director, Dr Vasile Dragut, ICCROM undertook three...

RoM July 2023

ICCROM Library resources on safeguarding Nubian monuments

Last month’s featured resource, a historical photograph of the Temple of Queen Nefertari in Abu Simbel from the ICCROM Archives, generated so much interest from our readers that the ICCROM Library has compiled a number of our in-house resources about the construction of Aswan Dam and the threat it posed to Nubian monuments.

Resource of the Month

Egypt: Temple of Queen Nefertari, Abu Simbel, 1962

ICCROM has recently received a donation of valuable records produced by Paolo and Laura Mora, two internationally renowned Italian conservators. This photograph, taken by Paolo Mora in 1962, depicts the Temple of Queen Nefertari at Abu Simbel before its transfer to a new location with the start of the Aswan High Dam project.

Microphotographic atlas of technically important plant fibres

Microphotographic atlas of technically important plant fibres

"Mikrophotographischer Atlas der technisch wichtigsten Pflanzenfasern" is an impressive piece of work that still serves as a reference for those looking to analyze the technical aspects of plant fibres. The publication is a testament to the expertise and dedication of Alois Herzog, who became an authority on the subject after years of research and study. In our Library, the book is kept in the rare book section.

RoM April 2023

Italy: A princess, a dragon and a knight in shining armour (Fresco of Saint George in Venzone Cathedral, Friuli)

Once upon a time, there lived a man called Saint George who served as a soldier in the Roman army. Legend has it that he heroically defeated a fire-breathing dragon to save a princess from her castle. This iconography was beautifully illustrated in the 14th century in a fresco within the Venzone Cathedral of Sant’Andrea Apostolo in Friuli – a northeast Italian region bordering Austria, Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea.

RoM March 2023

How a rare "book of recipes, formulas and secrets" found its way into our Library

My interest was piqued by this 145-year-old book, which someone had decided to part with. I began to leaf through the small volume and read. Yes, there it was: a detailed chapter on ceramics and glazes, as well as chapters on fabrics, dyes, inks and pigments. “Welcome to the ICCROM Library!” I thought to myself and bought the book for only a few euros. It will have a place of honour in our Rare Book Collection, and I hope it will be useful to...

Ethiopia: Detail of angel ceiling, Debre Berhan Selassie Church, Gondar

Ethiopia: Detail of angel ceiling, Debre Berhan Selassie Church, Gondar

For February’s resource, our destination is Ethiopia, famed for its spectacular natural sites and distinctive cultural heritage extending deep into the past. The country has an abundance of important historic sites, including significant ancient churches.