November 29th-December 1st, 2007: Cultural heritage between conservation and contamination - The issue of biocidal products in museum collections and monuments
Berlin, November 29th -December 1st, 2007, National Museums in Berlin, Dahlem
In the past a great variety of biocidal heavy metal compounds and persistent organic pesticides were applied in a large scale for the liquidation of pests as well as for preventive measures for long-term preservation of our cultural heritage. Only recently, public and expert attention starts to focus increasingly on the risks resulting from these treatments for human health, the works of art and the environment in general.
Arsenic, lead and mercury-based biocides as well as those of organo-chlorine, organophosphoric, and organo-tin compounds, their long-term behaviour and possible options for their removal are becoming a focus of attention. Evolving from issues related to contaminated objects in museum collections and historic monuments, the discussions will cover legal and political aspects, the scientific methodology for a reliable assessment of health and environmental risks and mitigation strategies at the laboratory and industrial levels.
With this seminar, the National Museums in Berlin embrace their responsibility as a cultural institution which is largely concerned with these issues. The seminar aims to raise the general awareness of biocide contamination of cultural heritage, compiling state of the art analysis and mitigation approaches and eventually contributing to the identification of possible gaps in
current and future researches.
The workshop will bring together experts and decision makers for a discussion about current approaches for facing the challenges posed by contaminated collections and monuments.
Concept and Themes
The seminar will consist of several invited lectures by international experts in the field. Major topics that will be addressed include:
- Historical development, analytical and conservation aspects of biocide contamination
- Health hazards inflicted by contaminated art and cultural heritage
- Options for sustainable cleaning and detoxification strategies including risk
During the second day of the seminar, round table discussions focusing on these main topics will provide opportunities for exchange between the invited lecturers and the workshop participants. Excursions presenting selected case studies in the region will be offered on the third day of the seminar.
Papers are accepted. Some of them will be selected for oral presentation, the remaining ones may be presented as posters.
List of Speakers (PDF)
The registration fee is 100 Euro, students discount 50 Euro. The fee covers information materials, assistance to the sessions and coffee breaks.
After October 27th , the registration fee will be 150 Euro. Registration will be limited to 100 participants.
National Museums in Berlin
Where to find the National Museums in Berlin (300 kb)
Fax +49 30 32674912
Phone +49 3032674919
Deadline: for Abstracts October 27th, 2007
The presentations will be in English and German. Bilingual abstracts will be
distributed. Simultaneous translation will be available during the entire seminar.
The seminar is open to everyone. The subject matter is of particular interest to
conservators, natural scientists and decision-makers in museums and in the area of cultural heritage as well as producers of safety materials and cleaning companies. A certificate of attendance will be granted.
Organization: The seminar is organized by the Rathgen Research Laboratory with the National Museums of Berlin in collaboration with the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), the Brandenburg State Office for Conservation and LAGetSi, Berlin.
Oliver Hahn, Ines Kirschbach, Carsten Klein, Stefan Simon, Cordula Thüring, Achim Unger, Eveline Weilert, Werner Ziems