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Subject: University of Canberra heritage conservation program

University of Canberra heritage conservation program

From: Sarah-Jane Rennie <regional2>
Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2002
    Australia's cultural heritage in severe jeopardy
    Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material
    4 September 2002

    Australia faces a real risk of damaging its unique cultural
    heritage following news the only heritage conservation training
    program in the country will close.

       "The Australian Institute for Conservation of Cultural
        Materials is shocked by the University of Canberra's
        decision to close its heritage conservation program," said
        AICCM President Marcelle Scott.

       "The vast majority of people charged with preserving our
        precious national heritage graduated from this course and
        these people are now respected internationally for their
        work. The UC decision jeopardises Australia's heritage and
        our reputation as a nation that cares about its past."

    The AICCM is organising an urgent national industry summit to
    discuss the decision.

    National Museum of Australia Conservation Manager and UC
    graduate Eric Archer said the great progress made preserving
    Australia's cultural heritage in the past 25 years would be
    seriously compromised without access to appropriately qualified
    conservation graduates.

       "Australia's national and state museums, art galleries,
        libraries and archives will find it increasingly difficult
        to fulfil one of of their key objectives--to preserve and
        provide access to Australia's culture and stories--for our
        future generations," Mr Archer said.

    Ms Scott said the training program--like the National Museum
    itself--was created as a result of the 1977 Piggott Report which
    found that Australia's cultural heritage collections were in
    grave danger and needed a long-term heritage preservation

       "Our heritage collections have national and international
        significance, ranging from Phar Lap to rock art sites to
        Captain Cook's cannon and rich personal collections. The
        AICCM, as the peak industry body is appalled that the
        decision to stop training the specialists who work in this
        area was made with no industry consultation."

    The university has indicated it will not enrol new students in
    the Conservation of Cultural Materials and the Cultural Heritage
    Management programs or fill the head of department position
    recently vacated by the respected Professor Colin Pearson.


        Marcelle Scott
        AICCM President
        +61 3-8344-7989
        +61 419-712-812

        Eric Archer, National Museum of Australia
        +61 2-6208-5036,
        +61 408 454 798

Sarah-Jane Rennie
Regional Services Officer
Museums and Galleries Foundation of NSW
43-51 Cowper Wharf Rd
Woolloomooloo, NSW, 2011
+61 2 9339 9908
Fax: +61 9358 1852
Free Call 1800-114-311

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:18
                Distributed: Thursday, September 5, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-18-004
Received on Wednesday, 4 September, 2002

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