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Anna Plowden Trust Award for Research and Innovation in Conservation

Icon (Institute of Conservation), the Anna Plowden Trust, and the Digital Preservation Coalition are very pleased to announce the winners for the 2010 Conservation Awards.  The Awards were presented at a ceremony and held at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, London on 1 December 2010.

Roy Clare (CEO of MLA), speaking at the awards, said: ‘The art and science of conservation are vital to sustaining public understanding and enjoyment of cultural heritage and collections of all kinds, for this and future generations. The profession faces growing demands to respond openly and ever-more creatively to new standards, technologies, public expectations and resource constraints. The context is challenging, but I welcome Icon’s re-invigorated determination to work with its members and many partners to shape effective strategies for ensuring a vibrant future for conservation.’

The Anna Plowden Trust Award for Research and Innovation in Conservation is given for a completed research or development project that has advanced the knowledge of conservation. This year the judges decided that this year’s award should be given to two projects. Miss Susan Palmer OBE, Chair of the judges, commented: ‘The award recognises excellence in research and in innovation. The quality of applications was very high. We felt there was an outstanding example of scientific research in the Tate AXA Art project and similarly in practical, problem-solving innovation from Eura. We therefore decided, exceptionally, to have two winners.’

Tate AXA Art Modern Paints Project (TAAMPP) – Tate

The TAAMPP aimed at characterising the short and long-term effects of surface cleaning treatments on acrylic-emulsion-based works of art. The project has delivered multiple international publications, numerous presentations, and developed practical workshops to disseminate research findings and engage conservators in debate and discussion on the care and conservation of these works of art. This research project has wide applications to a huge number of collections.

The conservation of Edwardian tiled panels using a diamond wire saw – Eura Conservation Ltd

The traditional method of removal of ceramic tiles involves levering them from their substrates and so risks large numbers of breakages. This innovative and practical solution represents a significant advance on current practice for tackling such conservation problems, dramatically reducing the risks of damage during transfer. Furthermore, the project was carried out within the constraints of a working hospital environment.