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"Conservators talk to conservators"

With this motto the congress organisers set up an exciting and exclusive excursion programme in Vienna and around the city. It allowed participants to see behind the scenes, get in direct touch with conservation experts and start discussions that continued beyond the congress event itself.

Excursions on Wednesday, 12 September 2012

On Wednesday some exciting outings to venues in Vienna as well as to the Abbey of Klosterneuburg, just outside Vienna in the province of Lower Austria took place.

Wednesday morning tours: "Backstage tours" in Vienna

These “Backstage tours” in Vienna dealt exclusively with conservation matters reflecting the topic of the congress and were offered to a professional audience. The tours visited special venues, exhibitions, studios, laboratories, collections and storage sites. These tours were led by conservation experts.
For some venues the tours were restricted to a maximum of 15 people.

“Backstage Tour” venues

The Backstage tours highlighted Otto Wagner, Gustav Klimt, and visited sites and collections including Kirche am Steinhof, the Postsparkasse, the Secession house, the Wien Museum, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, the Museum of Natural History Vienna, the Austrian National Library, and theAustrian States Archives as well as rarely-given opportunities to visit the Josephinum Vienna, the Flak Tower at Arenbergpark, the Technisches Museum Wien Depot in Floridsdorf, and the Vienna Jewish Cemetery in Währing.
Most of the Backstage tours in Vienna on Wednesday morning were free of charge.

Wednesday afternoon tours: Excursion to the Abbey of Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria

The afternoon tours were of the Abbey of Klosterneuburg, a site with much in the way of heritage in beautiful Lower Austria. Klosterneuburg, founded in the 12th century, is still a functioning monastery, but it also contains a museum, a winery, an internationally-significant art gallery, the Romanesque abbey church, the Gothic cloister with its Chapel of St. Leopold, the world-famous Verdun Altar with its 51 magnificent enamel plaques, and the magnificent Imperial Apartments of Charles VI. The tours highlighted the many aspects of this important site and its historical and regional contexts, and finished in time to allow attendance at the IIC Round Table event, held at the Abbey concurrently with this Congress.
All tours at Klosterneuburg were led by professional staff and included special lectures given by those who were involved in the conservation of important objects in the abbey’s collection.

Participants could select from following tours in Klosterneuburg:

Tour A – the ‘Treasury and Modern’ tour

This tour highlighted the abbey’s Treasury, first opened to the public in May 2011, as well as the very modern and contemporary elements of the museum’s collection. This tour also looked at the Austrian Arch-Ducal Coronet, the "Veil Monstrance", St. Leopold’s Vestments and much in the way of goldsmiths’ work, ivory, and nine centuries of textiles.

Tour B – the ‘Sacred’ tour

This tour through the medieval monastery covered: the abbey church, with one of the most significant organs in Europe, the cloisters, the Leopold Chapel, the world famous Verdun Altar, the seven-armed Agnes Candelabra and more unique art treasures from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Tour C – the ‘Imperial and Museum’ tour

This tour provided insights into the Marble Hall, the baroque Imperial Apartments and Sala Terrena, and the abbey church. The tour also offered views of the most important objects of the abbey's collections: the Babenberg Family Tree, the Panels by Frueauf the Younger, the St. Mary Magdalene Altar from 1456, a collection of Renaissance bronzes, and early works of Egon Schiele.

Tour D – the ‘Wine Cellars and Building Conservation’ tour

Austria's oldest winery: The tour led through the Abbey’s Baroque cellar system, covering over levels to a depth of 36 metres. There was also the opportunity to learn and discuss approaches to the reconstruction of the Abbey’s Baroque facade. The number of participants for this tour was limited to 20 persons.

Extra – the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg

For those who are interested in Modern Art we offered an exclusive guided tour through the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg, very close to the Abbey. The tour led you through the current “Cecily Brown” and “Franz Zadrazil” exhibition with special emphasis on the congress topic “The Decorative”. The number of participants at the Essl Museum is limited to 20 persons.


  • The guided morning ‘Backstage’ tours were free.
  • The afternoon tours at Klosterneuburg were subject to a fee being charged; this fee covered the coach transfer, the entrance fee, guides and lectures, and refreshments.
  • Accompanying persons were welcome to join these events. Places for afternoon tours were available at the same cost as for the main applicant. Numbers were limited and attendance was on a first come, first served basis.