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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
IIC has substantial programme for 2020 - including events, our Congress, professional development (on and offline), grants, awards, and prizes.
We are pleased to announce the concluding webinar for Phase 1 of Linked Conservation Data on the 24th January 2020. With funding from the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Linked Conservation Data Consortium formed in the winter of 2019. Over the past year the Consortium has held a webinar, two in-person meetings, and shorter seminars around the UK.
From a conference for students and a two week training course at the Palace Museum, Beijing to a community platform for members across the world, here's what we did in 2019.