On 27th – 30th May the Latvian Restorers Society hosted the 10th Baltic States Restorers’ Triennial meeting ‘Seeking Balance: Preservation, Use, Conservation” in the Latvian capital, Riga.
The Triennial meeting of Baltic States Conservators is a regular event held every three years in one of the Baltic States – Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia. As always it is a great opportunity to meet colleagues from neighbouring countries, to discuss current news, to obtain new information, gain new knowledge and insights into future projects.
This year the Latvian Restorers Society celebrates its 25th anniversary and we were delighted to be able to mark this event with this conference. This year we had the pleasure to host more than 250 colleagues not only from traditional participant countries Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, but also from Italy, Germany, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia and Greece.
The Conference followed the traditional pattern used in previous years – a three-day programme that included tours for the participants, multiple events and an exhibition of conservator’s work and achievements from the host country.
The three – day programme allowed participants to gain an insight into the activities of conservators from the host country. We observed that the preservation focus is slightly different in various Baltic and this was a great opportunity to learn from the experiences of colleagues from different countries. For example we learned that Estonian colleagues are more focused in educating the society on the benefits of preservation, Lithuanian conservators turned their attention to the understanding of conservation processes and study of materials, while Latvian conservators talked about the conservation of architectural cultural heritage.
Very interesting guest lecturers from Germany, Ukraine, Serbia, Russia and Greece also spoke at the event.
The poster session included some 80 posters divided according to materials, enabling professionals to spend time together and to discuss issues arising from the presentations.
An open seminar for cultural heritage professionals and managers was also organised with lectures about stone, paper, metal and wood conservation as well as preservation of cultural heritage preservation.
An exhibition called Revival was held in the Latvia National History Museum; this was a good opportunity to gain a closer look at the activities of Latvian conservators. Here guests could get insights into the conservation works of items from Latvian museums, archives and libraries reflecting achievements in a wide range of materials.
The last day of the event was dedicated to tours. Our guests visited different venues in Riga including conservation departments in educational institutions, museums, workshops, archives, as well as participated in tours to other regions of Latvia.
In Kurzeme our guests visited the city which won the Europa Nostra 2013 prize – Kuldiga, enjoying a rich programme with visits to city museums, conservation workshops and churches. In the Ugale Church, guests listened to a 17th century organ concert while in Vidzeme it was possible to visit an authentic 19th century papermills workers village.
A very successful trade session received a lot of positive feedback as participants appreciated the chance to receive information on products and services in one place.
For the first time in the history of Baltic States Triennials we broadcasted our conference via online live streaming. It looks like it was a good decision because we received heartfelt words of gratitude from people who cannot travel to the event but nonetheless had the opportunity to participate.
We are very delighted with the outcomes of the Conference and would like to thank IIC, particularly the Executive Secretary Graham Voce for the help provided.
We are also grateful to the Director-General of ICCROM Stefano de Caro, who showed interest and found the time to attend our conference.
The next Baltic States Restorer’s Triennial Meeting will be held in Estonia in 2017.