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ICOM 23rd General Conference Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

ICOM 23rd General Conference Rio de Janeiro, Brazil START DATE: August 10, 2013END DATE: August 17, 2013
ICOM’s 23rd General Conference was held August 10–17, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The theme Museums (memory + creativity = social change) was explored in presentations and discussions throughout the conference.

In addition to administrative meetings of ICOM’s Executive Council, Advisory Committee, and General Assembly, the conference included plenary sessions, technical visits, and specialized sessions hosted by the International Committees.


The theme of ICOM-CC’s session held on 14 August was “The ‘value’ of conservation in the 21st century”. Conservation departments in museums, government ministries, and universities are everywhere under scrutiny by administrators seeking to cut costs by reducing, reorganizing, or completely eliminating them. The session focussed on the value of conservation to society–how it is perceived and measured and how conservation professionals can influence the public perception of conservation through their actions and through better communication. The eight papers presented in the session explored this topic by addressing the following questions:

  • What is the perceived value of conservation to society?
  • What effect does the conservation of cultural heritage have on society at large?
  • What standards or benchmarks can be used to measure the value of conservation to society?
  • How much are governments/the public willing to spend on the conservation of cultural heritage and why? What can conservation professionals do to increase investment in the conservation of cultural heritage?
  • In what ways can conservation professionals affect the perceived value of conservation through communication with our peers and/or public outreach? How can conservation research assist in better understanding the value of conservation?

Abstracts of papers presented at ICOM Committee for Conservation session

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Keynote: “The Role of the Federal Attorney´s Office in the Protection of the Cultural Heritage in Brazil”, Zani Cajueiro Tobias de Souza (Federal Attorney´s Office , Minas Gerais, Brazil)

“Making the Case for Conservation: A Tale of Two Languages”, James Janowski (United States)

“People, Passion, Proficiency: The Cebu Provincial Government’s Investments in Heritage Conservation in Cebu, Central Philippines”, J. Eleazar R. Bersales (Philippines)

“The Value of Conservation in the Twenty-First Century: The Nigerian Story”, Ogechukwu Elizabeth Okpalanozie (Nigeria)

“What Effect Does the Conservation of Heritage Have on Society at Large?”, Martha Richter (United Kingdom)

“Professional Networking and Creative Conservation in the Historic City of Taiwan”, Mei-Fang Kuo and Shiann-Far Kung (Taiwan)

"Conservation through Communication of Public Art”, Ingrid Grytdal Matheson and Christina Spaarschuh (Norway)

“Building Preservation in a Political Institution”, Juçara Farias and Gilcy Rodrigues Marques (Brazil)

“A New Egyptian Museum: Its Role and Activity in the Africa and Middle East Region”, Yasunori Matsuda, Kaoru Suemori, Hussein Bassir, Hussein Kama, Mohamed Atwa, Said Shebl, Osama Abo el Khair, and Vinod Daniel (Egypt and Australia)


Travel grant recipients

ICOM-CC welcomed four travel grant recipients to its session at the ICOM General Conference in Rio de Janeiro. Hailing from Algeria, Egypt, India, and Nigeria, they represent the global importance and impact of conservation. Learn more about them here.