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About the Institute...

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The South African Institute for Conservation is a specialist training institute, unique in its home country, and of established reputation internationally as a conservation resource facility.

The primary aim of the Institute is to generate and foster expertise in the restoration and conservation of historic architecture, stone, mortar, metals, ceramics, textiles and paper. These skills constitute the principal subjects of the Institute's long-standing training programme, which will be resuming as a one-year, resident, full time programme in January 2017. More detailed information will become available for general release during May 2015.

Secondly, the Institute's experienced field unit, the Heritage Conservation Group, permits highly specialized conservation services for the built environment to be routinely deployed country wide. As a unique and proven resource, this unit remains much in demand as a specialized sub-contractor, working comfortably across the full range of scale. (enquire)

Thirdly, the Institute's Capacity Development Programme permits public and private entities within the heritage sector access to both consultative and staff development services – even including the establishment of actual and profitable conservation capacities within such client institutions. (enquire)

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What is conservation?

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In part, the science of heritage conservation deals with the restoration or preservation of man-made objects, fine art and structures in order to reinstate or safeguard their historical or cultural value and significance, aesthetic worth or physical integrity. Heritage objects and structures commonly in need of conservation care include collectible wares, archaeological artefacts, corporate or commercial art, public sculpture or installations and historic buildings. In practice, the scale of such objects is indefinite – varying from mammoth structures (think the Great Wall of China) to a rare Victorian thimble, from a priceless archaeological artefact to a humble object of sentiment...
The practice of materials conservation constitutes a specialized field of science, and a highly practical field of expertise. As a profession, conservation science has gained impetus since the 1950's, today occupying a central place within the heritage sciences. Through scientific research, heritage science seizes upon a fundamental understanding of cultural heritage, through accenting the technical and material (as opposed to philosophical) aspects of art history. In doing so, it facilitates a natural symmetry between the humanities and the sciences, forging an inspiring bridge across this divide...

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What is the duration of the programme?

The full-time programme will adhere to a one-year format, conducted annually from January to November. More detailed information will become available for general release during May 2015.

 
What are the career prospects and initial costs?

ConservationExperience has shown that participants on the Institute’s training courses enrol with diverging objectives: Some enter and pursue objects conservation as a primary career, while others have a supplementary vocation in mind - or perhaps only an active retirement.

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