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Metals Working Group Triennial Programme 2020-2023

Metals Working Group Triennial Programme 2020-2023

Specific themes of research/investigation

While the themes of this Triennial remain solidly anchored in the practice of conserving and studying metal artifacts, it is equally important to widen our scope and invite the overarching theme of sustainability into our forum. It is hoped that this effort will help our Working Group explore new directions and engage in a more diverse and inclusive dialogue.

Sustainability in practice in the metals conservation community

  • Alternative and less hazardous treatments.
  • Innovative chemical recycling.
  • Developing affordable and eco-friendly techniques and products to conserve, transport and store individual artifacts or collections (mass treatment). ? Environmental responsibilities for large-scale treatment projects.
  • Conservation treatments, materials and analysis
  • Innovative treatment techniques.
  • Review and improve existing techniques and methodologies.
  • Non-invasive analytical techniques.
  • Data science, computational techniques and visualization.
  • Preventive conservation
  • Re-assessing and improving preventive conservation measures for metal and composite artifacts.

Cross-disciplinary collaborations

  • Working with professionals from other disciplines such as engineering, micro- mechanics, scientists, the arts, as well as volunteers and the general public.
  • The value of traditional knowledge sharing and craftsmanship.
  • Technology transfer from the industry.
  • Collaborative approaches and exchange of expertise for conserving composite objects.
  • Technical and kinetic objects. Preserving functionality and refining best practices.

Elevating the voice of the conservator

  • Responding to the growing discourse surrounding social justice and objects with contentious narratives; vandalism.
  • The preservation and presentation of contentious objects such as illegally excavated, linked to traumatic heritage, war, colonialism, nationalism.
  • Teaching metals conservation – adapting the curriculum to evolving social and economic/technical/industrial/data scientific (or computational) realities.
  • Giving a voice to emerging conservation professionals and their vision for the future of the field.



  • Organise and hold the 10th Metals Working Group Interim Meeting in Helsinki, Finland, September 2022.
  • Organise the Metals Working Group session at the 2023 Triennial Conference.
  • Organise at least one Virtual Coffee Chat, topic to be decided.
  • Provide outreach and encouragement to emerging professionals.
  • Boost membership as much as possible.

ICOM-CC Publications Online Platform Project:

Assist with gathering information for the Publications Online Platform Project related to the Working Groups’ past publications, as well as any further work required to place publications generated in this triennium.

ICOM-CC acknowledges and highly values the contributions and additional efforts required by the Working Group Coordinators towards converting the Beijing 19th Triennial Conference to a fully virtual event. Additional workloads are being carried by Coordinators from both the past and current triennia to ensure a vibrant and exciting conference.