On the occasion of the 20th International Conference of the Conservation Committee of the International Council of Museums ICOM, a worldwide professional organization associated with UNESCO, Dr. Patricia Engel, scientist at the Research Lab Sustainable Cultural Heritage at the University for Continuing Education Krems, was elected to the Directory Board.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is a professional organization affiliated with UNESCO with over 45,000 members worldwide. Founded in Paris in 1946, the non-governmental organization has 32 international committees dealing with topics relevant to museums. The Conservation Committee (CC) is one of the largest and most important committees addressing global issues of conservation and restoration of museum objects and providing international recommendations, terminology and definitions.
Paper conservator appointed to Directory Board
The Directory Board is elected by secret ballot of the committee members for a period of three years. The Board consists of a total of nine eminent scientists from the following countries: China, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Austria. Dr. Engel earned her international reputation by leading interdisciplinary research groups in pioneering projects on the conservation of written materials and as an editor of high-impact scientific publications. She gained further recognition in professional circles as the founder of the "European Research Centre for Book and Paper Conservation-Restoration" and through her involvement in the association "Conservators without frontiers". Since 2014, the multiple award-winning scientist has been researching and teaching at the University for Continuing Education Krems. "As a Directory Board member," says Patricia Engel, "I will also use the opportunity to get in touch with young scientists from all over the world and to support them in a collegial way." In her new role, she would also like to raise awareness of the importance of cultural heritage conservation for society and promote professional dialogue.
Current topics and cooperations
On the occasion of the Committee Conference "ICOM-CC 2023" held in València from 18 to 22 September, 2023, there were extensive discussions, and new directions were set. A survey on the strategy and vision for the next three years was sent out to the members in advance. The results showed which of the "5 P's" (People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership) are already well served by those present and where there is still a need to catch up. A cooperation agreement was signed between ICOM-CC, ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) and IIC (International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works), in which the signing organizations commit themselves to work together on sustainability in the practice of the profession.