Watch the presentations: IIC Edinburgh Congress 2020

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In November 2020, IIC held its first ever online Congress, anchored to Edinburgh, Scotland, but with presentations of conservation work from across the world - from Australia to China and East Anglia.

The associated papers and extended poster abstracts are all collected in a supplementary Special Issue : IIC 2020 Edinburgh Congress  in Studies in Conservation - you can see the full contents list here, and while all content - including access to full papers is available for free with IIC membership, we are delighted to announce that the films  are available to view by everyone - just click the 'supplemental' button at the top of any article to see the related Congress presentation.

NB - if you are using an ad blocker, you may need to press 'download mp3' on the film page - at which point it should start playing in your browser

Watch a selection of Congress films

Here is a selection of films from the Congress - including the most popular watch, our President Julian Bickersteth on 'Returning Uluru'.  Additionally, you can see our two prizewinning poster films here.

Returning Uluru

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Uluru, once known as Ayer’s Rock, is one of Australia’s most well-known natural phenomena. A World Heritage Site, it is listed for its cultural and natural heritage attributes. Until recently it had been visited by more than 300,000 people annually, many of whom climbed the rock, despite the expressly stated wishes of the Traditional Owners that they should not. In November 2017, the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park authority decided to permanently close the Uluru climb and remove the climb infrastructure, which included a series of 134 posts cemented into the rock and linked by chain, with a cairn at the summit. This presentation and related paper detail the conservation processes and remediating materials considered, then the methods employed to remove this infrastructure safely.

Finding Sustainability in the Desert: Conservation of the Archaeological Site of Dangeil, Sudan, and Its Associated Collections

Francesca Guiducci, Tracey Sweek, Julie Anderson

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An extreme environment poses challenges, and forces one to implement solutions that require mixing state-of-the-art techniques with local knowledge and resources, to achieve results that are appropriate, effective, and sustainable in the long term. This is the case at Dangeil, Sudan, site of a first-century CE Kushite temple and cemeteries. Read the full paper here.


Challenges of Conserving Wall Paintings: A 30-Year Perspective

Sibylla Tringham, Stephen Rickerby

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Wall paintings are physically indivisible from the built heritage, which makes their conservation difficult. Conservation measures focus on stabilising paintings and slowing deterioration, while preserving significance and authenticity. Achieving these aims is complicated.

Logistical Challenges in the Relocation of Monumental Modern Architectural Artworks

Rosa Lowinger, Christina Varvi, Kelly Ciociola

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Many buildings of the 1940s to the 1970s are decorated with monumental façade artworks. These murals, mosaics, and integral sculptural reliefs sometimes gain in cultural value even if the buildings on which they are installed do not. When a building that supports an artwork is designated for demolition, artworks whose scale and installation never accounted for future repositioning are endangered. Read the full article.

The External and Internal Decorative Finishes of the Hill House, Helensburgh: Challenges of an Early Twentieth-century Dwelling House

Bryan Dickson, Mel Houston and Suzanne Reid

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Since its completion in 1904, the Hill House in Helensburgh (Scotland) designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh has suffered from the effects of moisture penetration. Various owners have attempted to remedy the problem with limited success. In 2019 the current owner, the National Trust for Scotland, took the bold step to cover the entire building in a contemporary structure, the Big Box, in order to arrest water ingress, buy time to develop a solution, and engage with the public over this conservation dilemma. Read the full article here.

Conservation Challenges for Thangkas in the Buddha Room of the Hall of Mental Cultivation (Yangxin dian), Palace Museum, Beijing

Xiaoji Fang, Jianwei Ju, Jie Wang, Rui Zhang, You Wang, Qian Zhou, Ningchang Shi and Jirong Song

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Thirty-eight thangkas have been displayed in the Buddha Room in the Hall of Mental Cultivation (Yangxin dian) of the Palace Museum, Beijing, for more than 270 years. A huge and systematic project is presented including the conservation of thangkas, the environmental control of the historic buildings, as well as research into possibilities for display and storage. The methods and materials used to conserve the thangkas as well as decisions regarding their display are presented alongside considerations of how to control the environment without damaging the historic buildings. Read the whole article here.

Small Changes to Avoid Major Loss: Collaborative Conservation Practices at Rouse Hill House and Farm

Sarah-Jane Rennie

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Rouse Hill House Estate is a historic property, one of twelve sites managed by Sydney Living Museums (SLM, the Historic House Trust of New South Wales). Spread across the site, nineteenth-century structures including the house, stables and outbuildings, which house over 18,000 collection items. The property was in the private ownership of a single-family until 1978. Its significance lies in the intact nature of the buildings, landscapes, interiors and collections, and the complex layering of material over time. The conservation management plan, which guides the care and management of the site, aims to preserve the intact nature of the site as a whole, with minimal intervention. This paper reflects on the effectiveness of the plan over a 30-year period, and the way it has adapted over time, addressing the challenges of the inevitable deterioration of materials exposed to an uncontrolled and sometimes extreme environment. Read the whole paper here.