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RMSU workshop on “Preventive conservation and maintenance”

(23-25 November 2009, Ghardaïa, Algeria)
Preventive conservation and maintenance, a complex but necessary process

This workshop in Ghardaïa, Algeria, focused on permeability and adaptability of the existing tools, methodologies and practices on both sides of the Mediterranean. For the organisation of this event, the RMSU partnered with the UNESCO Chair on “Preventive conservation” at the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (Belgium), the EH4 project Montada and their Algerian partner O.P.V.M. (Office pour la Protection de le Vallée du M’zab) in Ghardaïa, which is also hosted it, and the Algerian “Direction du Patrimoine”.

The challenge identified in the conservation field was about assuring heritage preservation through preventive conservation, maintenance and monitoring based strategies. Timely identification and correction of defects can prevent major consequential damage, which may incur heavy expenditures in order to bring the listed or valuable building back to shape. Monitoring systems allow public authorities, owners and site managers to ascertain that maintenance is carried out on a regular basis and that the budgets are spent effectively on the long run, even after restoration. In the discussions, between two aspects were distinguished: common maintenance, whose goal is the preservation of a minimal functional capacity, and modernisation works, which adapt the building to constantly changing modern standards.

Ultimately, the aim was to come up with a series of recommendations for authorities in charge of heritage as well as local populations “the users and owners” of heritage in Mediterranean Partner countries.

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