Third IIC-ITCC course concludes in Beijing

© Casey Liu

The third IIC International Training Centre for Conservation (IIC-ITCC) course took place in Beijing from 14-22 November 2017. With the focus on textile conservation, 23 mid-career conservation professionals, 12 from China and 11 from around the world, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Egypt, Finland, France, New Zealand, Serbia and Vietnam, attended this intensive hands-on workshop which took place in the newly established ‘Hospital for Conservation’ at the Palace Museum, also the largest science institution for heritage conservation in China. Prior to the opening ceremony, participants were privileged to be given a preview of the Hospital guided by Dr Jixiang Shan, Director of the Palace Museum.
For nine days, the participants worked closely with instructors Sarah Staniforth, Dinah Eastop, Mary Brooks, Austin Nevin, Diana Collins, and the specialists from the Palace Museum. Beginning with lectures presenting current approaches to preventive conservation and non-destructive analysis of textiles, the workshop was followed by practical sessions, demonstrations, case studies and group discussions allowing participants to develop a thorough understanding of the key principles and themes in the practice of textile conservation which are required to formulate and execute appropriate conservation treatments for textile objects at their institutions.
Some of the case studies drew on the comprehensive textile collections of Palace Museum, an institution with a longstanding reputation for the care of, and research into imperial textiles in China. Participants also enjoyed the exceptional opportunity to view the museum’s major exhibitions as well as some textiles from storage and conservation studios equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
The workshop was a precursor to the international symposium ‘Unroll and Unfold: Preserving Textiles and Thangkas to Last’ held in Hong Kong on 24-25 November 2017. Jointly presented by IIC, Palace Museum and Leisure and Cultural Services Department in Hong Kong, this symposium enabled participants to develop a valuable professional network for advice and resource, as well as sharing knowledge and experience with hundreds of textile conservation specialists worldwide.
A full report on these exciting events will be available on the IIC website soon.