Role and Objectives

The International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM) was established in 1977, during a meeting on mosaic conservation organized by ICCROM in Rome. On that occasion, eleven individuals, including conservators, archaeologists and art historians, decided to found the Committee, and volunteered to act as its first Board. Since then, the Board, which is now elected every three years, has continued to function on a voluntary basis and to consist of specialists from different disciplines.

The International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics has been instrumental in promoting the conservation of mosaics as a field of its own within the larger domain of archaeological conservation.

The Committee's objectives include the preservation of mosaics through the promotion of studies on the technology of mosaics and practices of their conservation, maintenance and presentation; the encouragement of international exchange of experience in the field of mosaic conservation; and the provision of advice to scholars and professionals interested in mosaic conservation.

In its 37 years of life, the ICCM can look back at eleven International Conferences around Europe and North Africa, and a number of Round Tables. All conference proceedings have been published, along with twelve Newsletters. These volumes constitute today a point of reference in the field and have been instrumental in advancing the study of mosaic conservation. In this way, the ICCM has contributed significantly to the improvement of the quality of literature on mosaic conservation.

The ICCM has been promoting the broader evolution in the philosophy and practice of heritage conservation in the field of mosaics. Most importantly, the in situ conservation of mosaics, as opposed to lifting, which was one of the first Recommendations of the Committee, has now become more or less the rule in mosaic conservation.

The Committee has also played an important role in emphasizing the essential role of preventive conservation and maintenance in the preservation of mosaics.

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