LATAM: Preventive conservation in Latin America

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ICCROM has reported that the first LATAM course has been launched this week in Quito, Ecuador.

This three-week course examines preventive conservation from a risk management perspective and proposes an integrated approach for movable and immovable heritage. Risks are understood not only as rare and catastrophic events, but also continuous hazards such as inadequate lighting or incorrect relative humidity.

The course is based on the of the previous four ICCROM-CCI courses on the subject, however for the first time it is being offered in Spanish, within the framework of the LATAM programme for the conservation of cultural heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During this first week, the course opened with a keynote talk by Ricardo Peñaherrera, coordinator of the Programme for the reduction of risks in the Metropolitan District of Quito. The opening reception featured an address by Minister María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés from the Coordination Ministry for Cultural and Natural Heritage. Lectures and discussions during the week covered the first two steps of a risk assessment - establishing context and identifying risks - in preparation for the first case study site visit.

By the end of the course, participants will have experienced through hands-on training each of the steps of the risk management approach. The risk assessment will be carried out on a specific case study, the Convent of San Diego, in order to propose options for mitigation.

The 21 participants include archaeologists, architects, archivists, conservators, curators and managers working with archaeological sites, archives, museums, libraries, historic sites and conservation centres and training programmes.

The course has been jointly organized by the Ministerio Coordinador de Patrimonio Natural y Cultural, Ecuador; the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (UASB), Ecuador; and ICCROM, in collaboration with the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), Canada; The Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN), Netherlands; the Instituto Nacional de Patrimonio Cultura (INPC), Ecuador; the Universidad Externado de Colombia, Colombia; the Secretaria Nacional de Gestion de Riesgos, Ecuador; and the Agencia Ecuatoriana de CooperaciónInternacional (AGECI), Ecuador.