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

Jan RoM 2023

68-year-old convention more relevant than ever in 2023: Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict

Last year, more than 20 armed conflicts took place in different parts of the world, costing many lives and causing much suffering and destruction. Cultural heritage is far from being exempt from conflict; sometimes it is specifically targeted. In hoping for a more peaceful year in 2023, this year’s first Resource of the Month is the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. This iconic...

December 2022 RoM

Italy: On-site repositioning of mural painting fragments, Ovetari Chapel, Church of the Eremitani, Padua (Cappella Ovetari in the Chiesa degli Eremitani)

The 13th-century, Gothic-style Church of Eremitani in the northern Italian city of Padua was decorated with mosaics by the greatest Renaissance artists in the region, most notably Andrea Mantegna. The frescoes, painted between 1448-1457 and depicting scenes from the lives of Saints James and Christopher, were Mantegna's first major commission.

RoM November

The Art of Drawing, a book for all ages

This month we would like to showcase an art book we found while searching for books to populate our Heritage Education Library for children and youth, as part of the Europe Challenge 2022 project – L’arte del disegno di Mateusz Urbanowicz : Botteghe di Tokyo [The Art of Drawing by Mateusz Urbanowicz: Shops of Tokyo] (2021). It is not a book for the young but for all ages; I’m sure that everyone who holds the book in their hands will be thrilled...

 Italy: Portico of Octavia, Rome

Italy: Portico of Octavia, Rome

The Portico of Octavia was built by Augustus in the 1st century BC. Today, the portico’s remains have been annexed to the church of Sant’Angelo in Pescheria. The portico’s colonnaded walks can be found next to the Theatre of Marcellus - an ancient Roman open-air theatre. The Portico of Octavia was damaged by an earthquake in the 5th century, when two of the destroyed columns were replaced with an archway, which still stands and is visible in the...

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.