Faced with the dual challenge of protecting and preserving our cultural heritage while maximising its economic value, the scientific and technological communities need to propose new approaches able to get to a multi-target audience, not only conservators-restorers but also to other professionals, not necessary from cultural heritage field. Moreover, these tools should be easy to utilize and flexibly applied even in more precarious or less safe conditions (e.g.: areas affected by natural disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, but also by wars or vandalism). Therefore, the mobility, versatility, non-invasiveness of these applications and their compatibility with not only the materials and techniques of the targeted artefact but also with the MACRO-situation (social, economical, historical and political, esthetical) of their natural habitat should be considered and discussed. On another hand, the advantages and disadvantages of large and small scale facilities for conservation, from the scientific lab to “in situ” experiments, and the capability to adapt the analytical approaches to the requirements of practical conservation are important issues to be addressed by the participants to the conference.
The conferenceÂ´s main aim is to create a platform of knowledge sharing between different fields of science and technology with a particular accent on Innovations from Surface and Nano and Environmental sciences applied to the characterization, conservation and valorisation of cultural heritage in Europe and around the world.
Nano-science advances are the emerging trend of many applications in industry, health and environmental fields. The use of nano-materials and technologies brings a new dimension to our world and knowledge. Therefore, the Nano-dimension of science has many interesting potentiality to the field of Conservation and can open a new chapter in the scientific applications to the protection and valorisation of our Cultural Heritage.
The themes to be addressed within the 6 proposed sessions are:
1) Surfaces and Interfaces in Conservation;
2) Environmental and Nano-Sciences for Conservation;
3) Conservation Science from Industry to the Lab;
4) Conservation science from the Lab to the field;
5) Nano-Tools and Materials for the Scientific Conservation;
6) Outreach and Dissemination Tools for Science and Art Conservation.
The interdisciplinary and international context of the conference is underlined not only by the presence of recognized specialists in these fields of research and of industry representatives (from nanotechnology, measurement technology and multimedia fields) but also by allowing the participation of a wide range of theoreticians and practitioners, from art historians, architects, archaeologists to conservator-restorers and to conservation and environmental scientists.
Therefore, the conference intends to launch a new insight on the evolution, relationships and tools that these branches of science proposed to conservation field, underlying the innovations that past decade brought to this field. The goal is also to discuss major problems and challenges regarding the communication between professionals in the field and the public in general. From this perspective, the conference reflects the need of re-scaling the role and position of CONSERVATION or HERITAGE SCIENCE in the present landscape of SCIENCE.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, I wish to welcome you to this international event, to be held in a wonderful Portuguese region where culture, history and science meet together for the fruition of an important UNESCO heritage.