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Capacity building on risk management for contemporary art

Workshop on risk management for cotemporary art collections gather professionals form Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay for 2 days to advance on integrated conservation strategies

The risk management methodology is an effective tool available to the institutions responsible for the custody of museum heritage to prevent its exposure to external agents, guaranteeing both the accessibility of these works to the public and the preservation of the integrity of the collections. Due to its wide variety of materials, formats and techniques used and its continuous evolution, contemporary art is consolidated as a typology of the collection of cultural and museum institutions that requires a conservation strategy with a specific approach.

In view of this situation, a workshop was held on 15 and 16 April, organised by the National Directorate of Cultural Assets and Sites of the Secretariat of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture of Argentina, with the support of UNESCO Montevideo and ICCROM, to train professionals from Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay in charge of contemporary art collections in the methodology of risk management applied to this specific type of cultural property.

Around 60 participants from cultural institutions in the three countries attended the two sessions of the workshop, which aimed to recognise and identify risks to contemporary art collections, analyse and assess these risks based on the methodology, and visualise possible scenarios for improvement based on resource management and from a multidisciplinary approach.

According to UNESCO's recent report on the state of museums in the face of COVID-19, the pandemic has had a global impact on the conservation and security measures of 104,000 museums worldwide. The training of professionals is a fundamental task to ensure the protection of collections for public access

The training was led by Jose Luiz Pedersoli, head of ICCROM's Strategic Planning Unit, and included case studies and various individual and group activities to work practically on the concepts and methodologies presented.

The participants were very positive about the results of the workshop and emphasised that the development of these initiatives is the starting point for the creation of professional networks that favour connections between experts, knowledge exchange, collaborations between countries and institutions, and promote research and innovation.

In the opening ceremony, Claudia Cabouli, National Director of Cultural Assets and Sites of the Ministry of Culture of Argentina, and Zelmira May, Education Programme Specialist and Coordinator of the Risk Management Unit of UNESCO Montevideo, stressed the importance of this type of event to promote an integrated approach to the conservation, protection and use of cultural heritage, as well as sub-regional cooperation for the exchange of experiences and good practices.