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Introduction: A Note from the Editor
This is the second of two special issues of Conservation that mark the tenth anniversary of the Getty Conservation Institute. The Editor of the Newsletter, Jeffrey Levin, introduces this issue, which examines highlights of the Institute's work in four categories—objects and collections, archaeological sites and monuments, historic structures and cities, and public awareness and advocacy.
Objects and Collections
Research and training in conservation of objects and collections have been a focus of the GCI from the Institute's earliest days. Work has ranged from specific problems of treatment—such as the conservation of painted ethnographic objects—to the all-encompassing issues of the museum environment and preventive conservation. In studying and developing solutions to the conservation problems of objects and collections, the GCI has sought practical applications and disseminated them through training courses and publications.
Archaeological Sites and Monuments
Archaeological sites and ancient monuments allow us to look back in time to discern how cultures and civilizations lived. But our archaeological store of sites is finite and nonrenewable, a diminishing resource under threat from development, industrialization, catastrophes, excavation, mass tourism, and looting. In courses, at conferences, and in the field, the GCI has promoted comprehensive site management that draws upon multidisciplinary expertise and seeks to incorporate the needs of all who have an interest in a site.
Historic Structures and Cities
The places where people live are often interlaced with elements of cultural heritage—from the entire core of a historic city to a single structure or a work of art in the midst of living spaces that defines those spaces and forms a component of their history. While this proximity to people gives historic structures and cities life, it can simultaneously threaten their preservation. In several projects, the GCI has worked to address the conservation challenges of preserving architectural and artistic heritage in inhabited places.
Public Awareness and Advocacy
In our communications-centered age, it is difficult to imagine a collective endeavor that can thrive without the tools of communication. Conservation is no exception. Early on, working to increase conservation knowledge and awareness was an important part of the GCI's mission. The Institute's initial efforts were directed toward the conservation professional. More recently, it has expanded its communication activities to reach out to the general public.
Preserving Cultural Heritage in the Information Age: A Conversation with Miguel Angel Corzo
GCI Director Miguel Angel Corzo reflects on the justification for preservation efforts and discusses the important role information plays both in advancing conservation knowledge and in helping the public make informed choices about what we value and what of our cultural heritage we must preserve.
The GCI Newsletter Staff Box