International Course on Conservation of Paper in Latin America

Practice preparing wheat starch paste
A demonstration of attaching a backing

 A Course on Conservation of Paper in Latin America was conducted as part of the LATAM program of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM). The LATAM program seeks to conserve cultural heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Course on Conservation of Paper in Latin America was jointly organized by the Institute, ICCROM, and Mexico’s Coordinación Nacional de Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (CNCPC-INAH). The course was conducted from November 5 to 30 at the CNCPC-INAH, and the Course was attended by 9 experts in restoring cultural properties who hailed from the 8 countries of Spain, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and Mexico.
 The course sought to provide attendees with basic knowledge and proficiency with regard to traditional Japanese paper, adhesives, and tools so that this knowledge and proficiency could be used to help conserve cultural properties in the attendees’ home countries. The first half of the course consisted of lectures by Japanese experts on materials and tools used in mounting and restoration techniques and then practice by the attendees. This year’s course focused on creating a work environment that provided safety during restoration work, work preparations, acquiring tools, and cleanup. During the second half of the course, lectures were given by experts from Mexico, Spain, and Argentina who had completed the Institute’s International Course on Conservation of Paper. These lecturers described actual examples in which they had used Japanese techniques to restore cultural properties in the West. Afterwards, attendees practiced using those techniques. Given the likelihood that Japanese mounting and restoration techniques can be used to conserve cultural heritage in other countries, plans are to conduct similar training sessions in the future as well.

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