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About the UNESCO PRECOM³OS Chair - Precomos - Preventive Conservation, Maintenance and Monitoring of Monuments and Sites

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Precomos: Preventive conservation,maintenance and monitoring of monuments and sites

About the UNESCO PRECOM³OS Chair



The Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (RLICC) at the K.U.Leuven (Belgium) and Monumentenwacht Vlaanderen vzw (Belgium) are setting up a network of experts and practitioners in view of the application and establishment for a UNESCO chair on “preventive conservation, maintenance and monitoring of the monuments and sites”. The network aims at providing the diverse audience’s reflection on the framework of preventive conservation, so to support the activities of the establishing chair. Furthermore, its goal consists in establishing a forum for an active and updated exchange of the latest research results as well as on the needs and the feedback from the practice in fields related to preventive conservation.


The challenge identified in the conservation field today is 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 lead to heavy investments in order to bring the listed or valuable non listed building back into a good state of repair. 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, also after restoration. When regular maintenance is carried out the annual maintenance costs of a historic building will be lower in the long run. As a result of systematic collection of information during the regular inspections (monitoring of the state of repair) it becomes possible to compare and monitor the constructional condition of the cultural heritage “stock”. Collected statistic data can also be used as a management tool as well as for research.

Experiences with conservation strategies based on preventive conservation, maintenance and monitoring in The Netherlands and in Flanders (Belgium), show that more people closely related to the heritage are given responsibility in the preservation process.  Seen from that perspective civil society is given an important role in heritage preservation, contributing to a sustainable and culturally adapted development of the society at large.


As a first step towards the identification of research and practices that can contribute to the establishing of an effective preventive conservation practice, an international seminar of experts, practitioners and young researchers was organized in June 2007 by the RLICC (Belgium) and the Institute International Fleuve et Patrimoine (France) in collaboration with 8 other European institutes.http://www.sprecomah.eu

The UNESCO Chair on preventive conservation, maintenance and monitoring of monuments and sites has been inaugurated at Leuven, 24/03/2009. Please see About the UNESCO Chair

Register as a Member to the PRECOMOS Website

We kindly invite you to join the PRECOM³OS network and register as a member to this website. Simply by filling in your information, your membership will be activated with full access to the information available in the PRECOM³OS network. As a memeber you can actively contribute and discuss on an online platform for preventive conservation practices and share your files as library items.

About the UNESCO PRECOM³OS Chair

The UNESCO chair on preventive conservation, monitoring and maintenance of monuments and sites has been established at the RLICC (KU Leuven) in collaboration with Monumentenwacht Vlaanderen (MWVl) and the University of Cuenca (Ecuador). It aims at identifying research and educational activities in the field of preventive conservation, maintenance and monitoring of monuments and sites, so as to contribute to:

  1. Identifying the particularities of preservation policies and practices;
  2. Developing new appropriate tools and techniques to improve preventive preservation strategies;
  3. Developing legal frameworks, policies and exemplary field applications considering the variety of cultural and social contexts.

The UNESCO Chair on preventive conservation, maintenance and monitoring of monuments and sites has been inaugurated at Leuven on 24 March 2009. During the inauguration ceremony keynote speeches addressed the nature and importance of preventive conservation. The detailed program and contents are available at the library.