Conservation and Presentation of Mosaics: At What Cost?
The 12th Conference of the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM) will be held in Sardinia (Italy), October 27-31, 2014, at the invitation of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici per le province di Sassari e Nuoro (Ministero dei Beni, delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo); with support from the University of Sassari, The Getty Conservation Institute and the University of Cyprus.
The cost of conservation and presentation of mosaics is usually defined in financial terms. This may entail preventive measures such as maintenance, or remedial ones such as stabilisation. In fact, the act of conservation and presentation exacts many different costs, which may be beneficial or detrimental to mosaic heritage:
o Aesthetic costs through intervention: appearance and authenticity
o Human costs of management, training and staffing
o Socio-political costs, such as the impact of excavation, development and tourism
Conservation decisions are heavily influenced by the financial resources available, requiring some degree of compromise, which may affect the display of mosaics and their original context, as well as the implementation of preventive conservation measures. What types of approaches mitigate these compromises to reach ethical and sustainable solutions? What is the acceptable limit of such compromises?
There are no exemplary models for costing mosaic conservation, particularly for mosaics in situ on archaeological sites, where monetary costs are often unrecorded, making budgeting and planning very difficult. This hampers good site maintenance.
The conference invites presentations of the financial planning and execution of conservation and maintenance of mosaics on sites, in storage, and in museums. It also aims to explore how social and political decisions may have a positive or a negative impact on the conservation of mosaics.
The following sub-themes were also addressed:
o Methods of survey and documentation
o Conservation and management of mosaics
o Presentation and display
o Education and training
o Best practice case studies
The concluding speech of the conference was delivered by the Honorary President of ICCM, Gaël de Guichen, and is available on line, please click on the image below to watch it!