"Cultural Heritage in Crisis – Are we losing our past?" with Director of Yale's Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage Dr. Stefan Simon
Date: May 27, 2015
Registration: 7:00-7:30 pm
Presentation & Discussion: 7:30-8:30 pm
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The presentation and discussion will be in English.
Our cultural and natural heritage is increasingly threatened with destruction, not only by physical and chemical causes of decay, but also by changing social and economic conditions. Natural and man-made disasters are a very important factor, as recently illustrated in a horrifying way by the cultural war crimes committed in the Middle East and Africa. The world is changing at a rapid pace, and research as well as academic training must keep up with these challenges. Cultural heritage is about identity, knowledge, and the future, as well as the past. As a global university, Yale needs to lend its voice to this conversation and participate in international collaboration efforts to rescue and preserve cultural heritage. The lecture will discuss threats affecting cultural heritage on various levels and ways to address and mitigate them.
Stefan Simon is a conservation scientist with broad experience in scientific research and multilateral project coordination. He has specialized in material deterioration diagnostics, microanalytics, non-destructive testing, physico-chemical analysis and climatology. Other areas of specialization include the testing and evaluation of conservation products and the control of treatment efficacy and durability.
Founder and director of the private laboratory KDC Konservierung & Denkmalpflege Cons. in Olching (Germany) since 1993, he has been teaching conservation science at Munich Technical University since 1998. From 2001-2005 Stefan Simon headed the “Building Materials” section at the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, before being appointed Director of the Rathgen Research Laboratory at the National Museums, Berlin in February 2005.
Stefan Simon was elected member (2005-2013) and Vice President for Finance and Administration of ICCROM Council (2009-2011). Since 2008 he is President of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee Stone (ISCS) and since 2012 corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). Since 2009 he is Honorary Professor at X´ian Jiaotong University (PR China), since 2013 also at Technical University Berlin. On April 1st, 2014, he was appointed Inaugural Director of Yale´s new Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH) at West Campus, overseeing its research, digitization and conservation laboratories and programs.