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1Welcome to the first ENCoRE conference, which precedes the 10th General Assembly.

2I see many representatives of members, but also many other participants and this confirms the importance of the topic we chose for the conference. For the guests and all who maybe do not know:  the European Network for Conservation-Restoration Education (ENCoRE) was founded in May 1998. Its aims, which are defined in the statutes are:  To promote research and to advance and develop academic education in conservation/restoration in Europe to the highest level.

3You may note the mentioning of the two terms research and education – these two terms represent the roots of university education, the very basis of what a university is. And this is what distinguishes the conservator-restorer as an academic profession from technicians and craftsmen. His activity comprises much more than the mere material related skills and the knowledge but a combination of these with the competence to see and understand the historic, artistic and other dimensions, in front of the wider background, and to understand and bring all this into a relation with the context of what is to be preserved. In particular, a fully professional conservator-restorer has to be able to take well informed decisions, in co-operation with the other stakeholders.

4All this is laid down in the E.C.C.O. professional guidelines, which describe in detail the fully professional conservator-restorer, his responsibilities, education and code of ethics. The activities of ENCoRE are based on the outlines of these guidelines.

5A profession finds its identification normally by means of its education, as can be observed with other professions like architects, medical doctors or scientists.  In conservation-restoration this is maybe even more the case, as it is a profession which is still very much developing. There is a direct feedback loop between profession and education which is particularly strong. If you think about publications:  A good deal – if not the majority – of papers published within the field of conservation-restoration from which the profession takes advantage are somewhat related to the educational or post-educational sector, they are written by graduates. Partially this is due to lack of possibilities when being in daily routine jobs, but it is certainly also due to the still ongoing development as a profession.

6Educating conservator-restorers demands a high responsibility from those who teach, as by teaching we shape to a certain extent the future of our cultural heritage. Therefore it is of paramount importance which contents are taught. Given the present broad field and the diversity of educational institutions and their approaches it seems more than necessary to compare them, and this has been always difficult.

7The Board of ENCoRE and a number of Members have worked on a document which hopefully can be adopted by the General Assembly which will take place the next two days. It is called “Document on Practice in Conservation-Restoration Education“. As most of you are aware it deals with the most central issue in education for conservator-restorers, and that is practice. Practice is a term which is used in many occasions and different contexts, having different meanings at the same time. That is why it is so necessary to define what the term practice means in education, as this has caused a lot of misunderstandings. I think once the definitions of the Document on Practice in Conservation-Restoration Education are accepted and used, we will be able to have a much clearer picture of the situation. The document will be a valuable tool not only for educators but also for other stakeholders.

8Another tool to use is the document Competences for Access to the Conservation-Restoration Profession, developed and published by E.C.C.O. The graphic scheme which depicts the competences of a conservator-restorer is very complex, but it gives a good picture of what education has to deliver in the end. This system which was developed over a number of years takes the European Qualification Framework (EQF) as a basis. The EQF describes the educational as well as the professional world by using the triangle of knowledge, skills and competences, within the context of lifelong learning. At the same time the EQF sets up 8 levels which correspond to the different stages in education, starting from compulsory schooling up to the PhD.

9The challenge which we will face is to translate the scheme of competences as developed by E.C.C.O. into a university curriculum – but here the Bologna system provides another tool, and that is European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The key when using the ECTS is that lectures are not described in terms of content but in terms of the competences the student has achieved after passing the lecture.

10So far for the contents – another issue is the approach to teaching itself. This is a likewise complex theme, as there is – apart from what education science can deliver – a very personal element which determines teaching quality, and that is the person of the teacher. Nevertheless, the different didactic concepts as well as formats offer a wide range of possibilities, and this can be communicated.

11Apart from other topics today´s conference will focus very much on these latter issues:  didactics. We have received around 30 abstracts of contributions, and it has been a difficult task to choose those among them, which will be presented today. The Board together with two representatives of the ESA S.Luc – Muriel Verbeeck and Nico Broers - set up an anonymous rating scheme, the results of which were in the end followed rigorously.

12We are sure that we will experience an exciting succession of presentations, which will certainly deliver numerous themes and arguments for the panel discussion, which is scheduled in conclusion of the presentations.

13My sincere thanks go above all

  • to the school ESA Saint-Luc for agreeing to provide the venue as well as infrastructure and ressources,

  • And also to the University Liège, Archaeometry Section

  • In particular to Nico Broers and Muriel Verbeeck for their personal engagement to make all this possible and to contribute to the rating of abstracts

  • To the presenters of papers

  • To the presenters of posters

  • To the Board and to everybody else who contributed and of course in particular to Karen Borchersen who has been running the ENCoRE secretariat since the begin and without whom we all would not be here today.

14I wish us all a fascinating day.

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Electronic reference

Wolfgang Baatz, “Foreword”CeROArt [Online], HS | 2014, Online since 13 August 2014, connection on 07 December 2021. URL:; DOI:

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About the author

Wolfgang Baatz

Wolfgang Baatz is head of the Institute for Conservation-Restoration, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. After completing conservation training at the Academy, he worked 16 years as a freelance conservator. During this time he also graduated from a ten semester chemistry program at the Technical University Vienna, before returning to the Academy with a full professorship in 1994 and expanding the institute. He is also co-founder of ENCoRE and present chairman.

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Licence Creative Commons
CeROArt – Conservation, exposition, restauration d'objets d'arts est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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