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Plovdiv welcomes the best mosaic conservation experts from all over the world

The XIV International Conference of the International Committee for Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM) will be held from 24 - 28 October 2022, at the invitation and with the hosting of the Municipality of Plovdiv and the patronage of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria.
ICCM is an organization with over 40 years of history, with more than 300 professionals from 35 countries as members. The organization's President Roberto Nardi, who is also Director of the Center for Archaeological Conservation in Rome, together with Dr. Joan Weinstein, Director of the Getty Foundation, will open the forum on October 24 at 10 am.

The idea of organizing the large-scale international conference-triennial arose after Plovdiv's hosting of the International Symposium on Conservation and Restoration of Mosaics, which took place at the Boris Hristov House of Culture in February, 2017. It was attended by members of the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM) and scholars from Bulgaria, Italy, France, Greece, Tunisia, Syria, Spain, Great Britain and Macedonia.
The international conference will provide all ICCM members with the opportunity to appreciate the culture and heritage of Plovdiv. At the same time, the conference will contribute to the strengthening of professional relations between archaeologists and restorers throughout the Balkan region with the special contribution of Bulgarian colleagues and the entire international professional network. More than 200 delegates from 20 different countries, from the United States of America to the Middle East and North Africa, will participate.

Bulgaria will be the first non-Mediterranean country to host the major event. One of the motives for the decision to host Plovdiv at the XIVth Conference are the mosaics from the two basilicas - the Small and the Bishop's Basilicas, the mosaics in the Trakart Cultural Centre and Plovdiv's candidacy for inclusion on UNESCO's permanent list.

One of the focuses of the conference will be the Episcopal Basilica, which is the largest early Christian cult building discovered in the lands of the Roman province of Thrace. Little of the impressive architecture of the three-aisled basilica, with an apse, an atrium and an open courtyard with colonnades, has survived time, but preserved in two layers are some 2,000 square metres of multi-coloured mosaics that make the basilica a first-class heritage monument with an international reputation. The basilica will be a special site for scientific discussions and sharing of know-how by scholars from Europe and the Middle East. It is also imperative to note the tremendous educational effect of the conference topics on the large number of young scholars and students from Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula who will attend the event.

The event is organized for the first time in our country and it is in line with the campaign for the promotion of the mosaic heritage of Plovdiv. The conference will also be a testimony of our bright presence in the ranks of the world professional community in the field of study, conservation and restoration of mosaics. Our city is expected to welcome experts from all over the world, internationally renowned lecturers and scholars.

International Mosaic Conservation Committee Foundation - organizer
The International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics was founded in 1978 as a committee of professionals in the field. ICCM has accumulated experience in the conservation and preservation of mosaics from a broad perspective. This includes the study of ancient technologies, preventive conservation, remedial treatment, presentation and socialization of mosaics both in situ and in museums or repositories. ICCM publishes proceedings of its regular conferences as well as newsletters and is today recognized as a guide to work in this field for scholars, professionals and students. ICCM's official recommendations are globally recognized expertise in defining theoretical and methodological approaches to mosaic conservation and restoration. ICCM has charitable foundation status with representatives from more than 35 countries worldwide.

Roberto Nardi, Gal De Guichen, Jean Marie Tutonico, Aisha Ben Abed, Elena Kantareva-Decheva, Alessandro Lugari, Dora Ivanova, Dimitrios Makris, Stefania Chluveraki, Montsert Pouget y Dorca, Fadi Balaavi, Evelyn Chantreux, Kutal Gorkai and many others are among the speakers of the conference

The main presentations include the following topics: Challenges to the maintenance and conservation of mosaics in urban environments; Mosaic conservation, preservation and management under critical external conditions; In situ documentation of mosaics and photogrammetry; The mosaic heritage of Bulgaria from the Roman period to the present day; History of mosaic conservation in Stobi, RSM; Mosaics of the modern era; The MOSAICON initiative and others

The conference will bring together participants from: Italy, France, Algeria, Spain, Libya, USA, Jordan, Syria, Greece, Morocco, Tunisia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Palestine, Egypt, Slovenia, Turkey, Croatia, Portugal, Lebanon and others.