IIC's first overseas training institute — the IIC International Training Centre for Conservation (IIC-ITCC) housed at the Palace Museum in Beijing — is the fruit of cooperation between IIC and the Palace Museum created during the 2014 Hong Kong Congress. The idea to develop a training centre was first put forward by the then Forbes Prize recipient, Dr Jixiang Shan, Director of the Palace Museum, who is exceptionally keen to foster advancement and exchange for the conservation profession in the region by jointly establishing a training institute with IIC in Beijing. This groundbreaking proposal was welcome and formally approved by the IIC Council in early 2015. The two parties then entered into a framework agreement, laying down the foundations to allow the development of IIC-ITCC from an outline idea into a fully-functioning entity.
Drawing on the international intelligence from IIC's professional network, as well as the rich collections, expertise and substantial resources of the Palace Museum, the Training Centre aims to offer every year a thematic training course for mid-career conservation professionals. Each course will address a particular topic of interest designed by the Programme Committee to cater for the evolving needs and changing landscape of the conservation profession.
Through lectures, case studies, practical sessions, presentations and site visits, participants will be given the chance to learn the best practices and theories of conservation, and to explore possible solutions to their own problems. The programmes emphasise interaction among participants to encourage discussion with their peers with varied cultural backgrounds and professional practice. Each IIC-ITCC programme aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Disseminate the best practice in conservation, especially to the developing countries in Asia-Pacific;
- Encourage the participants to become trainers who will use and transmit what they have learnt back at the home institution;
- Sustain contact between participants, to develop a professional network which leads to future collaborations in areas of research and conservation;
- Provide teaching resources for further learning and reference in areas covered by the programme via the IIC website;
- Promulgate IIC’s values, missions and activities to the heritage and conservation community in Asia.
After a year of planning and preparation, the initiative came to fruition on 20 September 2015 when the first IIC-ITCC course was officially inaugurated at the Palace Museum and commenced its first week-long programme. The first workshop resulted in the training of 20 participants from different institutions across the world on the topic of Preventive Conservation. The next workshop, on Non-destructive Analysis is now in preparation by the IIC-ITCC staff and will be offered in November this year. Details regarding the past and upcoming courses can be found in the links below. We look forward to seeing you in the next workshop!