IIC 2008 London Congress

Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (c)QE2CC

IIC was proud to present the 22nd biennial IIC Congress, its first in London for over 40 years. It was held in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in the heart of Westminster.

Welcome reception: 14 September
The technical programme: 15-18 September
Visits within and beyond London: 19 September
A full programme of social events was planned, including a reception in the British Museum and the Conference Dinner on a Thames Riverboat. There were poster displays and a trade show by suppliers and service providers.

The topic: Conservation and Access

Enabling people to see and enjoy art and heritage is our shared aim. Cultural institutions throughout the world strive to provide and encourage physical and intellectual access to their collections and sites. Conservators and conservation scientists play a vital part in enabling cultural heritage to be enjoyed while not compromising its condition or survival.
The programme examined the central role of conservation in the presentation and protection of the world's cultural heritage. It explored the many ways that heritage professionals engage in this sharing worldwide, whether that involves people going to see that heritage or the heritage itself travelling the globe.
An impressive range of over 44 speakers reported on contemporary thinking, current research and examples of best practice. Topics included conservation involvement in:

  • managing the exposure of vulnerable objects and sites
  • collaboration in education projects and enabling handling of collections
  • strategic conservation management and prioritising access
  • the use of computer technology for access
  • safe packing and transport
  • public engagement with conservation
  • discovering public attitudes to restoration

The varied locations for conservation involvement covered the range of archaeological sites, monuments, historic houses and churches, museums, libraries and archives. The types of object dealt with ranged from manuscripts to murals and from fossils to fireboats.
The approaches varied from technical experimentation to philosophical analysis, yet there was a common theme of assessing risks and judging the critical balance between access now and preservation for the benefit of future generations.