European Days of Conservation Restoration

E.C.C.O. is a confederation of national organisations across Europe, which has as its mission the safeguarding of Cultural Heritage for society through high standards in the professional practice of Conservation-Restoration.

For E.C.C.O., the celebration of the European Days of Conservation-Restoration, in the legacy of EYCH2018, is an opportunity to raise awareness of the value-laden outcomes, which Conservation-Restoration can provide for Cultural Heritage and Society. This initiative provides the incentive to highlight the many projects, iconic or otherwise, which our members have directly been responsible for or, participated in, across the member states of the EU and which demonstrate the ways in which Conservation-Restoration contributes to our understanding of and engagement with our Cultural Heritage. Conservation-Restoration is a paradigm; it is a way of approaching Cultural Heritage to ensure its sustainable access and use for the benefit of all. While it is an approach in which all of society can and does participate in, at a professional level the specific training, education and experience resources the Conservator-Restorer with the tools to advocate on behalf of Cultural Heritage and to reveal or add new knowledge where such knowledge can also significantly enhance value.

This expertise is required to enable Europeans to engage positively and constructively with the tangible palimpsest of human history which is so densely and multi-layered across Europe. It also helps Conservator-Restorers themselves to engage ever more constructively in this dialogue and negotiation.

Conservation-Restoration is a catalyst for sustainable development through innovation and research in the field of Cultural Heritage while knowledge and education in the field of Cultural Heritage is very attractive to younger generations. More and more women are studying the profession of Conservation-Restoration. Student groups are active and vocal in their national associations and the voices of this young generation are heard at European level through membership of E.C.C.O. by these same professional bodies. All Committee members of E.C.C.O. are themselves Conservator-Restorers in professional practice: employed in museums, self-employed, as professors and educators in University; all work across many different specialisations and are nominated by the professional body in their country. There is therefore, a structure in place, which directly links the individual professional to representation at European level.

Celebration around Europe

Conservator-Restorers invite visitors to their working places: in museums ateliers, private studios, university studios and conservation-restoration sites in monuments. Conservator-Restorers will explain their actual conservation-restoration projects with case studies to the public. The European Day of Conservator-Restorer aims:

  • to raise awareness of the key role of conservation-restoration in safeguarding cultural heritage with policy makers and civil society (public);
  • to share knowledge of the complex activity of this discrete profession as an applied science which includes humanities, natural science and intervenes with a code of ethics in the many fields of Cultural Heritage;
  • to highlight the respect and discovery of the values for society through the interventions beyond artists and crafts for ensuring the integrity of the material witness to guarantee the authenticity of cultural heritage for identification process of the individual;
  • to make transparent the international quality standards of the profession on this high level of competences for safeguarding Cultural Heritage through member associations in 22 European states;  and
  • to clarify how this expertise is of value to sustainable tourism and a catalyst for innovation in science for heritage.

Social media campaign

The European Week of Conservation-Restoration will be a social media campaign held from Monday to Saturday to highlight the European Day of Conservation- Restoration which will happen on the following Sunday. This European Week of Conservation-Restoration aims:

  • to bring Europe’s cultural heritage, history and shared values closer to people;
  • to engage the younger generation in the care of cultural heritage;
  • to highlight special themes in conservation-restoration which are important in the preservation of Cultural Heritage as authenticity, awareness, access, sustainability.
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