'Current Practices and Challenges in Built Heritage Conservation'


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Welcome to the IIC Congress Blog

Welcome to IIC's Blog for the 28th Biennial Congress. This congress is historic, not only in that it is being held during IIC's 70th year, but also in that it is our first entirely virtual congress. As with past congresses, this blog will be updated daily with new summaries, opinions, and images from the on-going congress sessions and lectures between 2-6 November.

We have a team of Digital Engagement Volunteers who will not only be moderating the Q&A discussions for each session, but will also be writing daily blog posts, so If you aren't able to engage in the live session discussions, or want more insight into the talks and speakers, be sure to check out the IIC Congress Blog for daily updates!

Session 10-screenshot from Poul Klenz Larsen's presentation

The live Q&A discussion following Session 10 chaired by Lucia Toniolo was full and engaging. The recording can be found on the IIC Congress website.

Screenshot from Virtual Edinburgh Tour showcasing a Gladstone’s Land room in the stages of instalment, with objects cloth-covered to protect from dust.

Behind the Scenes at Gladstone’s Land: a 17th Century renovation project

Screenshot of Julian Bickersteth announcing the 2022 IIC Congress location, Wellington NZ. Image credit: Samantha Springer.

"We must embrace change.” Professor Jane Henderson, Secretary General of the IIC, reiterated her opening words from the IIC Preprints preface during the final remarks.

Screenshot from Melissa Marshall’s Indigenous Stewardship of Decolonised Rock Art   Conservation Processes in Australia

The final session of the 28th IIC biennial Congress tooks us across three time zones.

Screenshot taken during Session 10 presentation by Janet Berry, Louise Hampson and Adam Klups.

Session 10, on the final day of Congress, brought four wonderful presentations on Churches and Cathedrals.

Vibration monitoring of the wall painting took place within the Palace of Westminster, Elizabeth Woolley explains in her presentation. Screenshot taken by Carlos Izurieta.

Presenter Lizzie Woolley discussed the "Vibration Monitoring of Daniel Maclise’s Wall Painting at Trafalgar."

The heat gain on the tapestries of the Hampton Court Palace as illustrated by Constantina Vlachou-Mogire in her presentation, screenshot taken by Priyanka Panjwani.

Through our experiences, we are all in some way aware that light plays an influential role in the appreciation of historic interiors and museum collections.

English Heritage sites studied by David Thickett and team, screenshot taken during Session 9 presentation by Samantha Springer.

Session 9, the last session of the fourth day of the IIC Congress covered Preventive Conservation, a crucial subject indeed, after different perspectives on remedial conservation were dealt with in

Screenshot from Suffrage and Smoke: The UK Parliamentary Archives’ Challenges in Caring for Collections Housed in the Palace of Westminster showcasing a print of the Palace of Westminster burning.

Have you even been to London if you didn’t catch a glimpse of the Palace of Westminster?

Screenshots taken from Dr. Fang Xiaoji’s presentation

Historic house museums and historic sites are an integral part of tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

Screenshot taken from  “Japanese and chinese paintings at Taliesin: their display and conservation”. Before and after treatment.

This Thursday ended with session 8 relating to Collections in historic buildings, including four cases from four distant places but all related to the care and challenges of exhibition and balance

Image 1 The Patan Durbar Square before earthquake, https://www.middleeastarchitect.com/patan-durbar-before

On Wednesday in session 7, we looked into new approaches to the conservation and management of archaeological and architectural sites, discussing good approaches to the conditions in which building

Screenshot from “Tracking Trends: A Study of Post-Earthquake Approaches in Conservation in Patan, Nepal” by Martina Haselberger

As we are experiencing this pandemic, we are aware of its adverse effects in the conservation world especially with travel limitations, physical distancing, migration, and the fiscal challenges fac

Screenshot of the dialogue, “Climate Change & Covid: What is the Heritage Impact?” panel. From left to right: (top row) Amanda Pagliarino, Lisa Wilkins, (middle row) Ewan Hyslop, Keith Jones, Riza Hussaini, (bottom) Jessica Bekesi.

The Dialogue entitled “Climate Change & Covid: What is the Heritage Impact?” had a huge impact on our audience on Wednesday, November 4th.

Dialogue banner. Image courtesy of the International Institute for Conservation

I hope to be able to convey in this blog the buoyant, humbling and stimulating atmosphere during the IIC Dialogue on Climate Change & Covid.

Screenshot from “The Slurry Wall: Past, Present and Future” by Lisa Conte in Session 7.

Session 7 of the IIC Congress “Architectural and Archaeological Sites” took us around the globe, examining conservation techniques and approaches to combat various issues.

Photo of The Breakers historic house in 1895, screenshot from Patricia Miller’s talk 'Geothermal Technology for Sustainable Climate Control in an Historic House Museum'

At the midway point of the week we considered projects from around the world that are looking holistically at what sustainability means for museums and their collections, be this environmentally, s

Screenshot from “Finding Sustainability in the Desert: Conservation of the Archaeological Site of Dangeil, Sudan and Associated Collections” by Francesca Guiducci in Session 6.

The keyword for session six was sustainability. Because of the current global environmental crisis, my mind links this word strongly with the environment and little else.

Image 1 – One of four polyester wall installations in the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus that was treated in situ during this project. (Screenshot credits: Integrating Art Conservation and Building Restoration in the Care of Organic Architecture).

Another day of the IIC Edinburgh Congress concluded with an interesting session on mosaics and contemporary materials.

Shows the de-installation mapping of the Methodist Hospital Mural, designed by the artist Bruce Hayes. Image taken by Saranya Dharshini (Fig 1)

Session 5 took us on a fascinating journey into the conservation world of mosaics and contemporary materials.

Image 1: New shelving structure in Volubilis

The first talk of session 5, Addressing Challenges of Conserving and Maintaining Mosaics in Storage, was presented by Tom Roby, on behalf of co-authors and consultant conservators Livia Al

Screen shot taken from Ms. Sibylla Tringham’s presentation

After watching those inspiring presentations and breath-taking virtual tours on day one, the attendees of the 28th IIC Congress were treated with a virtual trip across the globe on the second day.

Screen capture from Session 4 Q&A: Panelists and IIC Congress team excited to discuss the audience questions from across the globe. Pictured left to right: (top row) Jane Henderson, Jessica Bekesi, (middle row) Kasey Hamilton, Francesca Gherardi, Martin Michette, (bottom row) Katharina Fuchs. (not pictured - Tatiana Shannon)

Francesca Gherardi began Session 4 with her talk “Application of Nanolimes for the Consolidation of Limestone from the Medieval Bishop's Palace, Lincoln, UK”.

Screenshot taken from Sibylla Tringham’s presentation Challenges of Conserving Wall Paintings: A 30-Year Perspective.

This third session of the Congress focused on the complexity and challenges of wall paintings.

Dr. Norman Tennent presenting the Forbes Prize lecture 2020 from the magnificent Brodrick castle of Arran in West Scotland. Image by Anaka Asokan

The first day of Congress included a moving reflection on the history and future of conservation science through Dr. Norman Tennent’s Forbes Prize Lecture.

Image 1 - The Hill House, Helensburgh enclosed by a temporary steel mesh structure known as the ‘Big Box’, which has reduced water ingress and decreased RH levels to provide time to develop a long-term preservation strategy. (Screenshot credit: The External and Internal Decorative Finishes of the Hill House, Helensburgh: Challenges of an Early Twentieth-century Dwelling House). Screenshot taken by Lindsay Sisson.

The first day of the IIC Edinburgh Congress fittingly opened with discussions about current Scottish projects.

Image 1 – Screenshot from ‘National Museums Scotland’ presentation by Anna Starkey, depicting the National Museum Scotland portfolio.

A lovely introduction to the country that we’re all visiting virtually this week for the IIC Congress, for the second session of the day we explored projects from around Scotland, looking at how th

Image 1. Screenshot from The Burrell Renaissance: Unpicking a Collection and its Building showcasing Gasson’s drawing/impression of Burrell Museum display (1975).

The Burrell Renaissance takes place on the Pollok Country Park estate in Glasgow, Scotland.

Sharra’s break-out chat room during the Networking session at the Welcome Reception. Cheers! (screen shot by Sharra Grow)

It was truly a wonderful first day of Congress, and what better way to cap the day than a welcome reception, a cocktail or two, and some networking, all from the comfort of your sofa.

Watching IIC President Julian Bickersteth highlighting the goals of the congress from home. Screenshot taken during the opening ceremony by Cecilia Romero.

It is with great pleasure and excitement that we join our conservation friends and colleagues in the 28th IIC biennial Congress 2020.

View of domed ceiling and newly installed electrolier in McEwan Hall. Image taken by LDN Architects.

The first session of this year’s Congress started with an overview of conservation work in Scotland.

IIC Congress Blog

Welcome to the IIC Congress Blog!

Our blogs will be posted to this site from the afternoon of Monday 2 November onwards.