ICCM 40 – International Committee on the Conservation of Mosaics

Last week I attended an international conference on the conservation of mosaics in Barcelona. The organization that takes care of this cultural heritage is called ICCM – International Committee for Conservation of Mosaics.

Every three years they are organizing a conference where specialists in mosaic conservation and policy makers in cultural heritage from all countries with a roman mosaic history are coming together to exchange their knowledge and expertise.

This year it was the 40st anniversary of the organization. They achieved that the whole field now is working after certain standards in the conservation of ancient mosaics, that the group of conservators know of each other and can exchange experiences and that knowledge in the field was passed on and further developed in North African and middle eastern countries.

In terms of numbers this Barcelona Conference clearly ranks well:  with  255 participants, while contributors from 35 countries shared their work through 48 paper presentations, 59 posters and 15 videos. Each of these overall achievements represents many communal and personal successes. The sessions dedicated to modern mosaics were received well and succeeded in our goal to expose our members to new materials, techniques and technologies.

….. like mosaics from the period of art nouveau,

What better place for the conference could they have chosen than Barcelona with its rich heritage not only in art nouveau mosaics but also in cement tile pavements.

I also met Professor Selcuk Sener again, which I know from Ankara,  Gazi University, talking about the technical details of the removal  of 2 glass mosaic murals from the 1950s from a wall in a building in Ankara into storage.

Even terrazzo floors from the first half of the 20st century in Italy, Greece and even India were considered as mosaic floors having to be taken care of by conservation specialists.

The conference was meticulously organized by the City of Barcelona, Archeological Service. Every day of the 5 day conference we were taken to one of their gems of mosaic conservation. You can read about this in my next blog!

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