Thesis & Stage

A scientific approach to the conservation of cultural heritage is at the present day is essential as a preliminary basis to ensure a rigorous and proper planning of both ordinary and extraordinary maintenance to ensure their effectiveness and durability. Only thanks to a scientific knowledge of the materials constituting the artifacts, the environment in which they find themselves and their storage conditions, these works of conservation / restoration can be performed successfully.
Unfortunately, the experience developed in this area in several European countries for the time being can not be a common background because there are too many differences not only in the methods of investigation but also in the terminology used.
A specific Italian and European standardization activities in the field of conservation of cultural heritage is essential to acquire a common approach to the important issues in this field.
Moreover, this common approach and the use of standardized procedures and methods will promote the exchange of information, avoid duplication of work and to develop synergies among Italian and European experts in this field.
Also the development, testing, and standardized methods of analysis will provide the institutions responsible for the conservation, businesses and laboratories correct tools to carry out their work and at the same time increase their expertise skills / abilities.
Standardisation in the field of Cultural Heritage will:

give precise and appropriate indication on the kind of diagnosis studies to be performed, promoting in this way conservation works on an increasing number of artifacts;
improve methodology, protocols, guidelines to allow implementations of better practices or define equipment for preservation and conservation;
allow for a regulatory body of reference for validation at the Italian and  European level of the products and technologies used in the field of Cultural  Heritage.
increase the development of materials, tools, and technologies giving economic importance to a specific market for Cultural Heritage;
facilitate the exchanges between interested parties in Italy and Europe through the use of  common methods and vocabulary.


In the 1977 the C.N.R. (represented by the three Centers of Rome, Milan and Florence - now parts of the  Institute for Conservation and Valorization of Cultural Heritage) and the Ministry for Cultural Heritage(Central Institute for Restoration) founded the NORMAL (NORmativa MAteriali Lapidei) Commission with the purpose to establish and uniform  the methods for the study of alterations of stone materials and for controlling the effectiveness of conservation treatments.
The Commission was composed of experts and researchers from the National Research Council and the Ministry of Culture, from academics, professionals (architects, conservators and conservation scientists) and representatives of the industries involved in the industry.
From 1977 up to 1995  44 recommendations were published (copyright CNR-ICR) .
In 1996 this Commission became part of UNI, and from that point the numerous recommendations produced have the value of a normative for Italy and are marked as UNI-NORMAL.
The ICVBC has always played a fundamental role in the UNI- NORMAL having for many years the Presidency, the coordination of some working groups and carrying out experimental pre-normative research.

At present the committee is organized into the following working groups:

GL1 - Linee guida e terminologia, members: Anna Maria Mecchi, Fernanda Prestileo;
GL2 - Caratterizzazione e analisi dei materiali inorganici porosi che costituiscono il Patrimonio Culturale, members: Fabio Fratini, Anna Maria Mecchi, Loredana Luvidi;
GL3 - Valutazione di metodi e prodotti negli interventi di conservazione su materiali inorganici porosi che costituiscono il patrimonio culturale, coordinatore: Anna Maria Mecchi, members: Susanna Bracci,Riccardo Negrotti, Barbara Sacchi, Antonio Sansonetti, Loredana Luvidi, Daniela Pinna;
GL4 - Ambiente, member: Fernanda Prestileo;
GL5 - Metodi di imballaggio e trasporto, member: Maria Perla Colombini;
GL6 - Legno
GL7 - Strutture (Gruppo misto con la Commissione Ingegneria Strutturale)
GL8 - Biologia, member: Daniela Pinna

These working groups extend Italian standards and at the same time function as a mirror of groups of equivalent competence of the European groups (see European standardization)


The European Committee (CEN) is the European Standardization Body (recognized in Directive 98/34/EC) for the development of standards in all areas with the exception of the telecommunications and the electro-technical fields.
In 2003 the foundation of a Technical Committee “Conservation of Cultural property” was proposed by the UNI-NORMAL Italian Commission. This proposal was approved on 12/02/2003 when CEN/TC 346 was founded and begun the work after the first International Meeting del 21-06-2004, Roma.
All countries members of CEN take part to the standardizing activity of CEN/TC 346

At present the committee is organized into the following working groups:

WG 1 General methodologies and terminology
WG 2 Characterization and analysis of porous inorganic materials constituting cultural heritage 
WG 3 Evaluation of methods and products for conservation works on porous inorganic materials constituting cultural heritage, members: Susanna Bracci, Anna Maria Mecchi, Antonio Sansonetti
WG 4 Protection of collections
WG 5 Packing and transport
WG 6 Exhibition lighting of cultural heritage - Joint working Group between CEN/TC 346 and CEN/TC 169
WG 7 Specifying and measuring Indoor/outdoor climate
WG 8 Energy efficiency of historic buildings
WG 9 Waterlogged wood
WG 10 Historic timber structures
WG 11 Conservation processes, members: Daniela Pinna, Anna Maria Mecchi
The ICVBC an important role especially in WG 3, and in WG11 and most recently published standards have been produced on the basis of previous recommendations NORMAL and / or UNI NORMAL.


The Italian and European standards can be purchased from the site UNI

Normal Recommendations are not currently marketed, more detailed information can be provided on request by ICVBC.
Via Madonna del Piano, 10 - 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI)
Tel. 055 5225484 - Fax 0555225403
Institute for the Conservation and Valorization of Cultural Heritage