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Bridging Conservation and Craftsmanship

Top image: Sarah Staniforth CBE was awarded the Plowden Medal in 2015 for successfully harnessing science and new technology to make conservation more efficient and practical as well as more environmentally friendly. Image courtesy of the Royal Warrant Holders Association.  Bottom image: Caroline Bendix has restored books in both private and public collections, often in situ, for more than 30 years. Image courtesy of Caroline Bendix.

By Richard Peck

Richard Peck is the long-standing Secretary at the Royal Warrant Holders Association (RWHA), which sponsors and awards the Plowden Medal each year. The RWHA also supports the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, the crafts charity which supports talented craftspeople of all ages and backgrounds and so helps to sustain Britain’s cultural heritage. Here Richard explores the link between conservation and craftsmanship and why they are both so important.

Reverse-Engineering Conservation: Revealing the secrets of the first scientifically described dinosaur

The lectotype dentary of Megalosaurus bucklandii. (Medial). Image copyright Oxford University Museum of Natural History (OUMNH).

By Paul F Wilson

Today’s museums are home to an overwhelming number of objects from the depths of history, ranging from relics of cultures and societies long past to the remains of ancient leviathans that defy modern understanding. Among these myriad objects are a smaller proportion with great cultural or scientific significance. Their importance to human understanding of the past means they remain sequestered away in museum collections, safely kept in the knowledge that their significance has already been fully explored.

Shuri Castle Fire in Okinawa, Japan

Shuri Castle (2013). Image by かがみ~ (Kagami). Image original location here. Licensed under:  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

During the early morning hours on October 31st, the Shuri Castle in Okinawa, Japan (designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000) went up in flames.

Ask A Conservator Day

AIC promotional image from Ask A Conservator Day.  image courtesy of the American Institute for Conservation and the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (AIC and FAIC).

The first-ever Ask a Conservator Day was held on November 4, 2019. The date is a meaningful one for the field: on November 4, 1966, the Arno river flooded Florence, Italy, damaging priceless cultural heritage. However, in response to the catastrophe, incredible efforts were made—and are still being undertaken—to conserve the items impacted by the flood.

Inauguration of the Lovure Conservation Center

Centre de conservation du Louvre © Paysagiste Mutabilis Paysage et Urbanisme.  © Architecte Rogers Stirk Harbour + Parnters / Joas Souza Photographe)

Designed by the British architectural firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the Louvre Conservation Center, inaugurated on October 8, 2019, will be home to some 250,000 works of art by 2024, making it one of Europe’s largest study and research centers. The sober and elegant building blends seamlessly into the landscape and boasts optimal conservation performance.

Record flooding in Venice threatens cultural heritage

Flood waters, like those seen in this photograph taken during 2009 flooding, reached record levels this November. High tide (acqua alta) in Venice , by Roberto Trombetta (2009). Original location of the image here. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

On the 12th of November, Venice was once again inundated with acqua alta or high flood waters, an occurrence which has become more frequent in recent years. Between 1872 and 1950 the city recorded only one “exceptional” high tide (reaching 140 centimeters / 4 feet 7 inches) above sea level. However, since 1950 there have been 21 such events, 4 of which occurred in the week of November 11th alone, this month’s levels being the highest in 50 years.

Linked Conservation Data Webinar - Phase 1 Conclusion

Linked Conservation Data Logo

We are pleased to announce the concluding webinar for Phase 1 of Linked Conservation Data on the 24th January 2020. Further information and an agenda will be posted soon over here:

In the meantime, please save the date and register in advance (registration is free):

When: Jan 24, 2020 16:00 GMT

Topic: Linked Conservation Data Phase I Concluding Webinar

24 Jan 2020

Call for Student Posters: 2020 Edinburgh Congress

IIC is delighted to announce that the 2020 IIC Congress will host its sixth Student Poster Session. To apply, please send us a summary and two images by 1 February 2020.

Saturday, 1 February, 2020


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