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Icon and Leading Shaanxi Directors Discuss Conservation Standards and Training

On 30 May 2019, Icon met with a high-level delegation of heritage professionals from Shaanxi Province, China to discuss shared priorities in conservation.

Chief Executive Sara Crofts welcomed the Chinese delegation, led by Director General Luo of the Shaanxi Provincial Museum Association, to a meeting with Icon staff in London.

The purpose of the meeting was to build on the Memorandum of Understanding between Icon and Shaanxi Provincial Museum Association and to enhance communication and collaboration in cultural heritage conservation between the UK and cultural heritage institutes in Shaanxi Province.

The delegation comprised:

  • Wenli Luo, Director General of the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Heritage Administration/ Cultural Relics Bureau
  • Ningbin Hou, Director of the Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum (Terracotta Army Museum)
  • Zhouyong Shun, Director of the Shaanxi Institute of Archaeology
  • Qiang Zha, Director of the Shaanxi Institute of Conservation
  • Zhiyong Lu, Assistant Director of the Shaanxi Institute of Archaeology
  • Xiuzhen Li, Senior Archaeologist of the Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum 
  • Karen Cheng, Director of Creative Industries Development at the British Council China

During the meeting, Policy Advisor Anni Mäntyniemi introduced Icon’s priorities for advocacy and policy and the working methods of the Policy Advisory Panel. The Chinese participants expressed admiration for the dedication and commitment of the UK’s independent heritage sector and its mechanisms for influencing policy by drawing on the expertise of its volunteer networks.

Icon’s Head of Professional Development, Susan Bradshaw, delivered a presentation on training, professional development and standards within the UK conservation sector. The delegates described the discussion as “inspiring” and “helpful,” outlining how a lack of professional standards in China presented a challenge to evaluating and benchmarking conservators’ work.

The delegates also discussed the international reach of Icon accreditation, the upcoming #Icon19 conference, the development of apprenticeships and Icon’s quality assurance procedure in relation to membership and standards.

Directors Luo and Hou conveyed their thanks to Icon for hosting the delegation and highlighted the value of learning more about Icon’s activities. Sara Crofts echoed the sentiment, thanking the delegation for an interesting discussion and confirming the mutual benefit of knowledge exchange.


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