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UK conservators face jail under proposed samurai sword ban

UK conservators could face a fine or a 6-month jail sentence for possession of an offensive weapon if proposed legislation to ban Japanese swords is passed. Japanese art swords, popularly known as "samurai swords", are the subject of a proposed amendment to the Criminal Justice Act. The swords would be classed as "offensive weapons" if the amendment were accepted, and their importation, possession and sale within the UK would become illegal.

Robot reconstructs millions of shredded Stasi documents

Researchers in Germany have unveiled a massive computer-aided project to reconstruct millions of confidential files which were shredded by the East German secret police at the end of the Cold War. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Stasi officers were ordered to destroy incriminating documents relating to the Stasi's operations. Many of these documents were burnt, but others were hurriedly shredded or torn into pieces. The West German police later recovered 16,000 sacks of paper, containing 600 million fragments from 45 million documents.

King Herod's tomb discovered after 30-year search

An Israeli archaeologist claims to have found the tomb of King Herod, the Roman-appointed ruler of Judea at the time of Jesus' birth. According to the Bible, Herod was responsible for the Massacre of the Innocents, when all male children under 2 years old were killed.

Denver Art Museum raises $1.5 million for conservation

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) announced recently that it had exceeded its aim of raising $1.5 million towards a conservation endowment in the museum. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation had already promised the DAM $1.5 million if the museum would match the sum from its own fundraising efforts. This task was completed in December 2006, and the endowment will be used to secure conservation posts and run the collections centre in the DAM's new Daniel Libeskind-designed Frederic C. Hamilton Building, which opened last year.

ICOM-CC seeks venues for 2011 Triennial Meeting

The Directory Board of the Conservation Committee of the International Council of Museums, ICOM-CC, wishes to announce that the call for hosting the Triennial Meeting of ICOM-CC in 2011 is now available at www.icom-cc.icom.museum. The deadline for receiving bids is 1 September 2007. A decision on the final selection must be expected in the first half of 2008. The Board wishes to thank candidates for their commitment and investment.

4 May 2007 to 31 Aug 2007

Protect your collections this MayDay!

Museums, galleries and archives throughout Australia and the United States are being urged today to review their disaster plans. The MayDay initiative, which was started last year by the Society of American Archivists, encourages collection care professionals to "take personal and professional responsibility for doing something simple ’“ something that can be accomplished in a day but that can have a significant impact on an individual's or a repository's ability to respond".

30 Apr 2007

Laureates of Europa Nostra Awards 2006 announced

The winners of the 2006 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards have been announced. The awards were launched jointly in 2000 by the European Commission and Europa Nostra, to recognise outstanding achievements in the field of European heritage conservation. Awards are made in three categories: the conservation of architectural heritage, works of art, landscape and archaeological sites; a study in one of these fields of conservation; and an individual or organisation who has shown dedicated service to heritage conservation.

ICCROM is 50 today

ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) is 50 years old today. On 27 April 1957, the Director-General of UNESCO, Luther Evans, and the Italian Government signed a formal agreement to establish ICCROM, then known as the "Rome Centre". The statutes came into force during the following year, and in 1959, the centre was established in Rome under the directorship of Dr. H. J. Plenderleith. Since then, ICCROM has promoted research into conservation and preservation, especially encouraging collaboration across different disciplines.

26 Apr 2007

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