International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
Greener Solvents in Conservation

How can we, as conservators, integrate sustainability into our work?

Welcome to the Resource of the Month for August, dear readers. Once again, I would like to invite as many of you as possible to visit our library, either virtually through our online catalogue or, of course, in person here in Rome. In person in Rome? Some of you might think: I'd better not travel in this heat... We read daily about forest fires and city fires and it hasn't rained in Italy for many months...Climate change and its catastrophic...

Italy: Roman capital at the Crypt of Sant’Angelo in Pescheria Church, Rome

Italy: Roman capital at the Crypt of Sant’Angelo in Pescheria Church, Rome

If you understand Italian, you may be perplexed by the name of the Church of Sant'Angelo in Pescheria. In pescheria? A fish market? The story of how this church got its name is nearly as strange as you might imagine. It is located near the remains of the Portico of Octavia, which Emperor Augustus dedicated to his sister in ancient times, though it became a fish market (pescheria) during the Middle Ages and remained so until the 19th century. The...

Celestial Motifs: Ancient Tomb Murals of the Goguryeo Dynasty

Celestial Motifs: Ancient Tomb Murals of the Goguryeo Dynasty

It is a normal morning at the ICCROM Library. I start the day by flipping through the mail piling up on my desk – most of the envelopes contain new journal issues, the latest of our periodical subscriptions… But then, there! The last, hefty envelope. I carefully open it and observe its contents: a matte, deep blue book, adorned with golden dragons enveloped in a mesh of ornamental plant motifs. Almost as an afterthought, I read the title that the...

Fresco of Hercules from the Camerino Farnese

Italy: Hercules bearing the globe by A. Carracci, Camerino Farnese, Rome

In a room on the first floor of the Palazzo Farnese, a High Renaissance palace now housing the French embassy in Rome, the ceiling is decorated with a fresco cycle by the painter Annibale Carracci (1560–1609). Known as the Camerino Farnese, it features a scene from Greek mythology in which Hercules carries the weight of Atlas’ globe.

A touching tale to inspire our youngest

A touching tale to inspire young readers

In the northern hemisphere, the month of March marks the beginning of spring, a season synonymous with new beginnings. In this spirit, our resource of the month is not only a beautiful book, but the announcement of a new chapter for our library, as we open an area dedicated to literature for children and young people.

Italy: Garden of Ninfa, Ruins of the Church of S. Maria Maggiore

Italy: Garden of Ninfa and the ruins of S. Maria Maggiore church

A unique setting rich with flora and fauna, the Garden of Ninfa is an English-style landscape park in the Latina province, recognized as an Italian natural monument. The park was the site of a medieval village of the same name.

A heritage spin on a classic card game

A heritage spin on a classic card game

Time in our library is usually spent on study, research and cataloguing but shortly before the end-of-year holiday it passed a bit differently, as the team treated themselves to cups of tea and homemade biscuits… accompanied by a few rounds of a game from our collection.

Bramante's nymphaeum in Genazzano

Italy: Bramante's nymphaeum in Genazzano

In the Italian town of Genazzano, there is a 16th-century nymphaeum, or shrine to the nymphs, attributed to Donato Bramante, the architect and painter known for designing the earliest example of High Renaissance style architecture in Rome. Our archives hold a series of photos and drawings from a study project carried out at the nymphaeum in 1977.

The Library's Resource of the Month for November takes us to Algeria

A virtual tour of the Musée d'Antiquités in Algiers

The Library's Resource of the Month for November takes us to Algeria. There, we want to pay a virtual visit to the Musée des Antiquités in Algiers, or rather, to the former Musée Stéphane Gsell, during a series of events that were held between 1954 and 1958. Today, we will not just walk in the door (even if I am certain I’m not the only one who would very much like to do just that). As always in this column, we will move along the paths of the...

United Kingdom: An Etruscan fake

United Kingdom: An Etruscan fake

This Etruscan sarcophagus with a couple reclining on the lid dates from between 550-525 BCE and was excavated in Caere (present-day Cerveteri), Italy. At least, that is what was once claimed, before it was revealed to be a fake!

Eat Rite: Ritual Foods of George Town – a cookbook with a twist

Eat Rite: Ritual Foods of George Town – a cookbook with a twist

After nearly one and a half years of pandemic, many of us desire to share again the realities of our daily lives with family, friends, and our communities. This includes joining in celebrations, sharing meals, and maybe even cooking together. At the same time, participants from all over the world recently connected online for the 44th meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, hosted this year in Juzhou, China. What connects these two things...

Egypt: Sample from the Tomb of Nefertari, 1958

Egypt: Sample from the Tomb of Nefertari, 1958

This month, we are showcasing one of the samples taken by Cesare Brandi, the founder and first director of Istituto Centrale per il Restauro (ICR) in Rome, during his visit to the tomb in 1958. Analysis of this and other samples at the time helped experts assess the condition of the tomb and determine whether restoration was possible and how best to carry it out.