(phase I 2001-2003; phase II 2004-2005; phase III 2006-2007)

The safeguard of the European Cultural Heritage must concern a steady work of preservation and, if necessary, of Conservation-Restoration. This implies the participation of different competences, because only on the base of their interdisciplinary action they can operate scientifically and thus respect the different traditions and cultural realities.

Alike in other disciplines and professions, the lexicon has got a decisive function: any scientifically correct activity of training, research and intervention can be carried out only through the use of clearly defined, not ambiguous words.

In this context the European scientific community has been denouncing for decades the absence of a scientifically checked dictionary for conservation and restoration that correlates different languages.

In particular, it’s important to underline the exhortation that the scientific community addressed to Europe in the “Document of Pavia” (1997): “We highly recommend the publication of a multilingual dictionary based on the conceptual definitions of the specialized bibliography of the profession.”

In the last few years this need has become more and more pungent due to the publication of vocabularies written extemporaneously and without the participation of the scientifically competent and authoritative institutions. As it is evident, this situation increases the terminological confusion around the subject and consequently places at high risk our cultural heritage and the future experts’ training.

As a result of other important experiences, in the last few years an organized network of the most relevant European institutes for Conservation and Restoration gave birth to a common work dealing with the realisation of a “Glossary Multilingual Technical Scientific in Conservation and Restoration / Technical multiligual Lexicon of Conservation and Restoration”.

This project started in 2001 and still in progress, is directed and coordinated by the Associazione Giovanni Secco Suardo and by the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro, with the participation of other partners from five European countries (Opificio delle Pietre Dure Florence, Institut Nationale du Patrimoine Paris, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden, Hamilton Kerr Institute of the University of Cambridge, Escuela Superior de Conservacion de Bienes Culturales of Madrid).

Through its first phases, the project has created a technical-scientific lexicon, hierarchically structured, with scientifically in-depth definitions shared in five languages (Italian, French, English, German, Spanish), relating to the Support of Panel Painting and the Support of Paintings on canvas.

More than fifty international experts were involved in the project (authors, coordinators, revisers, translators, etc.).

For each term, a form was drawn up consisting of numerous descriptive fields, translated into the 5 languages of the countries participating in the project (French, Italian, English, Spanish, German).

The results of the first steps won experts’ interest and approval and are planned to be continued to achieve the systematic accomplishment of a complete multilingual technical dictionary of conservation and restoration.

Promoters: Associazione Giovanni Secco Suardo, Istituto centrale per il Restauro

Donors and Participant Institutions: European Commission, Directorate General for Education and Culture-Programme Culture 2000 – Associazione Giovanni Secco Suardo – Regione Lombardia, Direzione Generale Culture, Identità e Autonomie della Lombardia – Ministère de la Culture (Francia) – Université de Paris La Sorbonne (Francia) Courtauld Institute of Art – Conservation and Technology Department (Gran Bretagna) – Escuela Superior de Conservación y Restauración de Bienes Culturales (Spagna) – Hamilton Kerr Institut, University of Cambridge (Gran Bretagna) – Hochschule Fur Bildende Kunste Dresden (Germania) – Institut National du Patrimoine (Francia) – Institute für technologie der malerei staatliche akademie der bildenden künste Stuttgart (Germania) – Instituto del patrimonio histórico español Madrid (Spagna) – Istituto Centrale per il Restauro (Italia) – Opificio delle Pietre Dure (Italia) – Université Libre de Bruxelles – Centre de recherche et des études technologiques des arts plastiques (Belgio) – University of Northumbria Newcastle (Gran Bretagna).

Scientific Committee: Ségolène Bergeon-Langle (Ministère de la Culture), France – Maria Bianca (Istituto Centrale per il Restauro) Italia – Marco Ciatti (Opificio delle Pietre Dure) Italia – Hero Lotti (Courtauld Institute of Art) Great Britain – Ian McClure (Hamilton Kerr Institute) Great Britain – Mara Nimmo (Associazione Giovanni Secco Suardo) Italia – Catheline Périer-D’Ieteren (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Centre de recherches et d’Études technologiques des arts plastiques) Belgio – Pietro Petraroia (Regione Lombardia, Direzione generale Culture, Identità Autonomie della Lombardia) Italia – Ulrich Schiessl (Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden) Germania – Lanfranco Secco Suardo (Associazione Giovanni Secco Suardo) Italia – Gennaro Toscano (Institut National du Patrimoine) Francia – Rosalia Varoli Piazza (Istituto Centrale per il Restauro) Italia – Ruth Vinas-Lucas (Escuela Superior de Conservacion y Restauracion de Bienes Culturales) Spagna – Kathryn Walker Tubb (E.C.C.O. – European Confederation of Conservator-Restorer Organisation) Gran Bretagna – William Whitney (Université de Paris La Sorbonne) Francia.