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HK hosts its first international congress on conservation of cultural heritage (with photos)

     The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC) 2014 Hong Kong Congress opened today (September 22). Under the theme "An Unbroken History: Conserving East Asian Works of Art and Heritage", some 400 specialists and scholars from 30 countries and regions have gathered in Hong Kong to exchange their professional knowledge and share the latest research findings in the field of cultural heritage conservation.

     "We are honoured that Hong Kong is chosen as the first destination in Southeast Asia to host the IIC biennial congress," the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, said at the opening ceremony today.

     Mrs Lam said that the Government and the community have a shared vision to treasure the precious value of our historic past. Apart from preservation, the Government has been investing heavily in upgrading its museums to strengthen their roles as the repositories of knowledge and heritage as well as the platforms through which the community can appreciate and treasure the heritage of Hong Kong.

     The biennial meetings of the IIC have been a major international event since the 1960s. This year's congress is being held at the Hong Kong City Hall from today until September 26.

     The five-day congress is presented by the IIC and organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. By hosting this international congress, the department hopes to showcase Hong Kong's culture and its accomplishments in the conservation of our cultural heritage to the world at large.

     At the congress, specialists will address issues relating to East Asia's historical background and the very specific problems of preventive conservation in a sub-tropical climate. A highlight of the congress is a session on "Preventive conservation and the environment", which will focus on topics including environmental standards for the safekeeping of cultural heritage objects, the management of environmental conditions within museums in a responsible and sustainable way, and how to reduce the carbon footprint of museums.

     During the congress, a total of 52 papers, 45 posters and 20 student posters selected by the Congress Technical Committee from hundreds of papers and posters received worldwide will be presented and displayed. A trade fair showcasing products and services relevant to the field of conservation of cultural heritage will also be held from tomorrow.

     Other officiating guests at the opening ceremony included the President of the IIC, Ms Sarah Staniforth; Secretary-General of the IIC, Ms Jo Kirby Atkinson; and the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Michelle Li.

     Today, Ms Staniforth also presented the Forbes Prize award to the Director of the Palace Museum in Beijing, Dr Shan Jixiang - the first Chinese ever to win this award. The award is considered the highest honour in the field of conservation of cultural heritage, and is granted to conservation professionals or scholars who have made extraordinary contributions to the field.

     For details of the IIC 2014 Hong Kong Congress, please visit the website:

Ends/Monday, September 22, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:40


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