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Six winners announced at 2015 Icon Conservation Awards

Six conservation projects have won prizes at the 2015 Icon Conservation Awards, held in London on the evening of Thursday 22 October.

The awards were presented at a glittering ceremony at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, hosted by the Royal Academy of Art’s Artistic Director Tim Marlow. 




The first award of the night went to the Rothko Conservation Project, Tate, which received The Anna Plowden Trust Award for Research and Innovation in Conservation. The judges said it “showed a strong application of fundamental research and considered, thoughtful conservation treatment to a high-profile object through an unusually close collaboration between conservators, scientists, curators and the artist’s family.”

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers Award for the Conservation of an Industrial Heritage Artefact went to the Grand Fountain Restoration, Paisley. The panel said: “It encapsulates the concept of engineering as both science and art, and provides a sense of pride and a feel-good factor.”

The Steam Pinnace 199 received the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Award for Volunteering in the Conservation of an Industrial Heritage Artefact, with judges praising “the outstanding outreach potential, high aesthetic appeal” of the project and “the opportunity to sustain traditional skills”.

The project speaks to the power of conservation not only to improve the condition and appearance of an object but also to establish its significance

Cardiff University’s Gemma McBader was awarded The Pilgrim Trust Student Conservator of the Year Award for her work on a 19th-century Ethiopian emperor’s shield. The judges said it was “an impressive and complex project” that “speaks to the power of conservation not only to improve the condition and appearance of an object but also to establish its significance”.

The Staffordshire Hoard Conservation Programme picked up the Pilgrim Trust Award for Conservation. Lead by Pieta Greaves ACR and Deborah Cane ACR, Birmingham Museums Trust, the project was described by judges as “the poster project of the sector”.

There was a grand vision of making the public say “wow” about conservation

They said: “[We] were particularly impressed by the winning project’s grand vision of making the public say “wow” about conservation.”

The final award of the night was The Icon Award for Conservation in the Community, which went to Resurrecting the Coffin Works: Sharing Skills, Building a Legacy, lead by Deborah Magnoler, Sarah Hayes and Dawn Holland, also of Birmingham Conservation Trust.

The judges said: “A skilled conservation team combined high conservation standards with excellent community engagement, allowing public access where it was not previously possible.”

They added: “The team actively searched for unemployed and disadvantaged people who were taught new skills, and given roles which matched their individual talents.”

Sponsored by Beko plc, the Icon Conservation Awards recognise the highest standards of conservation, research and collections car within the UK art and heritage sectors.

Read more about the awards here.
Download the Awards Programme.

Photo: Paul Hampartsoumian


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