Seminars and Events

Engineering solutions for the conservation of cultural heritage

Date/Time: 14.07.2016. 4:00 p.m.
Place: IC 04-408/410

Bill Wei, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Conservators and curators in museums and other cultural heritage institutes are responsible for the conservation, preservation, and restoration of aging objects, for example, archaeology, art, historic buildings, or industrial heritage. As in industry, the term aging is used in the broadest sense of the word, and can include environmental effects, chemical changes, and mechanical damage. However, unlike industrial and consumer products, historical objects and objects of art are, more often than not, unique. Decisions on display or storage conditions, and/or restoration treatments (if any) must therefore be made based on non-destructive and, often, subjective examination of the objects. So-called “conservation ethics” play an important role in such decisions. Furthermore, the uniqueness, as well as in many cases, the extreme age of the objects means that conservators are much more dependent than their industrial colleagues on materials simulations and life prediction models for understanding an object’s past, and predicting its aging behaviour in the future. This talk will look at the application of materials science and engineering methods for dealing with critical issues in conservation of objects of cultural heritage.

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