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Biotech scientists team with curators to stem decay of world's art, cultural heritage
Date:2/8/2009

uctive treatments of cultural heritage items.

The Institute of History of Cuba will describe its innovative method to assess objectively the state of heritage photo and document collections, while experts from the Philippines will outline their system of ranking artwork restoration priorities.

Peru's National Culture Institute will describe its efforts to inventory historic possessions not yet catalogued in 20 churches, monasteries and other entities, amid concerns about the safety of this cultural property from theft, vandalism or non-scientific restoration attempts that can irreversibly ruin or alter them.

Professor Fernando Diniz Moreira, of the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil, meanwhile, will warn of the need and challenges of conserving important 20th Century architecture in such countries as Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela, which produced many of the most important Latin American interpretations of the modern movement. He notes the fast ageing of modern buildings due to the use of materials not fully understood in terms of their long-term performance and the excessive functionalism of the buildings, which make new uses difficult.

Says UN Under Secretary-General Konrad Osterwalder, Rector of UNU: "The items in museum collections have timeless cultural, scientific and aesthetic values that we hold in trust for future generations. They also have great commercial value derived from exhibitions, souvenirs, tours and publications.

"Despite the current economic downturn, we all have a great responsibility to ensure historic objects are managed and used in a sound and sustainable way and to safeguard them from the potential effects of a warming planet."


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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
United Nations University
Source:Eurekalert

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