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Ecological insect pest treatments and biocide decontamination in art and heritage collections

About this Event

Please join our inaugural panel on sustainable art conservation methods which features leading scientific experts from the UK, Japan, and Germany. Due to climate change, art collections in museums as well as contemporary art galleries face new threats from insects. Insect pests can destroy artworks and even entire collections. As a consequence, biocides have been applied to artworks and collections over centuries, especially during the 20th century. Today most biocides are banned in many countries as they have been identified as CMR (cancerogenic mutagen reprotoxic) substances. Treatments with warm humidified air are an effective, safe and sustainable way of controlling insects in collections. Experts will discuss museum pests, describe the effect of climate change on the distribution of insects, and explore the impact of insect infestations on collections as well as the treatment of infested objects and even whole buildings.

In an adapted form, the humidity regulated warm air method can also be used to decontaminate biocide-polluted objects and collection. Biocide residues in museums and storage facilities are a serious challenge worldwide as they have an adverse effect on the human health. Many biocides will also harm the objects, they can cause corrosion and discolouration. A solution is desperately needed. One of the leading experts in the field of museum biocides will introduce the most common and harmful biocides in their historic context. He will also report on the first results of a systematic decontamination study using the ICM method.

SIA-NY is committed to developing a sustainable and green campus. We continue to find more sustainable ways of operating and are proud to present programming that highlights advancements in the intersections of art, science, and sustainability.

Welcome + Introductions

  • Welcome from Christine Kuan, CEO/Director, SIA NY
  • Introductions by Leen Gysen, CEO/founder IPARC/ICM, Master of Arts & Archaeology – MBA

Panelists + Topics

David Pinniger: Climate change’s influence of insect species distribution worldwide + an introduction to insects in museums and collections and the damage they can cause

Pinniger is an independent entomologist providing advice and training on pests in museums, galleries and historic houses. David has delivered lectures and training workshops in many countries and is the author of over 60 papers and publications including the standard book “Integrated Pest Management in Cultural Heritage”.

Prof. Dr. Yoshihisa Fujii :Treating a Japanese wooden temple against a woodboring beetle infestation with humidified warm air as replacement of a highly toxic gas which was used in the past

Fujii teaches and does research at Kyoto University. Professor Fujii and his colleagues are investigating the applicability of the humidity-controlled heat treatment as a replacement for toxins in insect infested heritage buildings. They have treated two temples at the famous Nikko temple site in 2017 and 2018.

Dr. rer. nat. Boaz Paz: Poisoning collections and museum staff: the widespread use of biocides in the past and its ongoing consequences / Decontamination using the ICM method

Paz is managing director at Paz Laboratorien, Germany. Boaz is a chemist with professional focus on biocide residues in museum collections, pollutant analysis, hazard assessment and decontamination. He also offers services and research in provenance, age determination, authenticity of artworks and cultural heritage.

Nikolaus Wilke: sustainable approaches to insect and biocide decontamination of museum and art collections using humidity-regulated warm air treatments

Wilke is director of international business development at ICM. Nikolaus is a trained wood conservator and has worked with the humidity regulated warm air treatment method since the 1990s. His professional focus is on the treatment of insect infested as well as biocide contaminated collections and artworks.

 

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