Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 317
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An information service provided by the Australia ICOMOS Secretariat
Friday 18 January 2008

1)  Report by Simon Molesworth on the New Delhi Conference, December 2007
2)  APT Montreal 2008 - call for papers
3) Getty Foundation Grant Announcement For Icom-CC New Delhi 2008 - Announcement
4) Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts: Media Release - Fossils returned to China


1) Report by Simon Molesworth on the New Delhi Conference, December 2007

In an exceptional demonstration of international cooperation, the majority of the world's National Trusts and like heritage organizations signed the Charter of the new international heritage organization INTO, the International National Trust Organisation, on Monday 3rd December in an extraordinarily impressive ceremony in New Delhi presided over by the Vice President of India. By the time the session was over, just under sixty organizations had signed the Charter confirming their determination to work together to promote the conservation and enhancement of the cultural and natural heritage of all nations for the benefit of the people of the world.
Among those Trusts that signed was the "mother" Trust from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, together with a diverse range from around the world including the USA, Scotland, Canada, Russia, India, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malta, Ireland, Nepal, Slovakia, Taiwan, Korea, Transylvania, Bermuda, amongst many others. Many other signatories from government agencies signed the Charter as affiliates indicating their willingness to work with INTO with the aim of establishing National Trusts in their countries, these included Cambodia, Afghanistan, a number of African countries and a number of the former Soviet republics. From Australia, ACNT Chairman Pat Comben signed for the Australian Council of National Trusts; Eric Martin, President of the ACT National Trust signed for his Trust; and Ian Stephenson, CEO of the National Trust in South Australia signed for his Trust.
The International Conference itself was an outstanding success, with almost 400 delegates, including some seventy countries being represented. By all measures the Conference was remarkable, not the least reason being the level of support given by the Indian Government starting with the Indian Prime Minister himself opening the Conference with a large number of ambassadors and high commissioners in attendance. Every day there was one or other major event organized, hosted by either senior Indian Government officials or an international agency, such as the Asian Development Bank. The cultural component of the Conference was outstanding with displays of art, music and dance, and excellent conference tours to key heritage places. The quality of the presentations was excellent, as were the two plenary sessions assigned to discussing the objectives and operational arrangements for INTO. In the course of these sessions, it became very apparent that there is a huge need across the world's developing nations for "capacity building". Many are seeking guidance on how to establish and operate National Trusts, while others seek assistance in kind to strengthen their operations. Without dissent across the assembled delegates, all were filled with encouragement and enthusiasm at the formation of INTO as a new world voice in the heritage field.
The Conference attracted much media attention, with many detailed articles appearing in all the major press. Simon Molesworth appeared twice in the Times of India with in-depth interviews and photographs. Simon, who had led the INTO Steering Committee over the last 18 months, was reappointed Chairman of the INTO Committee at the close of the Conference. The INTO Committee immediately started work on a whole range of business items including: the arrangements for the INTO World Headquarters being set up at St Anne's Gate in London; the selection procedure for the INTO Secretary-General and secretariat staff; the establishment of the INTO website on which are to be posted pro-forma legislative and non-legislative models and guidelines for National Trusts; the identification of regional groupings; and the arrangements for next international conference in September/October 2009 - which will be in Europe.
Finally, there were excellent indications throughout the Conference that a number of senior international agencies are likely to support INTO in tangible ways. With representatives from agencies such as UNESCO, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Heritage Lottery Fund (amongst others) being present and witnessing the groundswell of support from across the globe, many invitations were issued to the INTO Committee to enter into discussions regarding potential options of support. Many expressed the view that they felt they had participated in "history in the making" as the new organization launched forth.


2) APT Montreal 2008 - call for papers

APT Montreal 2008 - APT's 40th Anniversary Conference
The Association for Preservation Technology International is accepting abstracts for its 2008 Conference in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The deadline for submissions is Monday, February 18, 2008.
The Call for Papers and the electronic Abstract Submission Form are available on line at
Abstracts are being solicited for paper presentations and panel discussions on the themes of 'Sustainable Heritage Conservation' and 'Conservation Technology and Philosophy'.
A paper will be presented with two other papers selected by APT to create one, one-and-a-half hour session. A panel discussion will be put together by the submitter to include a moderator and panelists for one, one-and-a-half hour session.
Paper and panel presenters will be able to attend the conference at a registration rate less than the lowest member rate.
For information, contact Dana Saal, conference manager, at or 217/529-9039.
Conference details, for your information:
APT Montreal 2008
October 13-17, 2008
Hilton Montreal Bonaventure
The conference theme, 'Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Heritage Conservation', celebrates not only the membership profile of APT but the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of heritage conservation (generally referred to as historic preservation in the US) approaches over the last four decades.
Monday, October 13
Field Session (full day)
APT Board of Directors Meeting
Opening Reception and Keynote Address
Tuesday, October 14
Paper Sessions and Panel Discussions
Field Sessions
College of Fellow Reception and 40th Anniversary Awards Banquet
Wednesday, October 15
Paper Sessions and Panel Discussions
College of Fellows Lecture
APT Annual Social and Student Scholarship Auction
Thursday, October 16
Field Sessions
Workshops and Symposium, Day 1
Friday, October 17
Workshops and Symposium, Day 2


3) Getty Foundation Grant Announcement For Icom-CC New Delhi 2008 - Announcement

"Grants for the ICOM-CC 15th Triennial Conference - New Delhi, India, 22-26 September 2008"

Thanks to The Getty Foundation, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) is able to offer a limited number of bursaries to museum and/or conservation professionals from low-income countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and Latin America to attend the 15th Triennial Conference of ICOM's International Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC).

Grant application forms are available at the Conference website (, at the ICOM-CC website ( and also by request from the ICOM -CC Secretariat:

ICOM-CC Secretariat

Via di San Michele, 13
00153 Rome, Italy

Fax: (39) 06 58 553 349


4) Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts: Media Release - Fossils returned to China

Priceless History Protected: Fossils Returned to China
A mammoth 750 kilograms of illegally imported dinosaur, mammal and reptile fossils seized by Australian officials were today handed back to the Chinese Government.
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, formally returned the fossils to His Excellency Mr Zhang Junsai, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, at a ceremony in Canberra.
"These fossils from provinces across China are of incredible cultural and scientific value to the People's Republic and to the world," Mr Garrett said.
"Ranging from dinosaur eggs to marine reptiles, fish and crustaceans, they are national treasures that tell a fascinating story about different geological periods and ancient environments.
"Some are believed to be up to 450 million years old, and the rarest are considered priceless because of their value to China's scientific and cultural heritage."
The fossils were seized between 2004 and 2007 under the Australian Government's Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986, in a number of joint operations by the Australian Federal Police and the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. The most recent seizure took place in November 2007.
"Australia was one of the first countries to respond to China's request for help in tracking down and returning their invaluable cultural heritage," Mr Garrett said.
"The fossils were seized from eight different parties in nine separate seizures. They were forfeited to the Australian Government as the importers were unable to demonstrate that the fossils had been legally exported from China."
China does not grant permits for sale or permanent export and only allows fossils to be temporarily exported for exhibition and scientific research.
"We have been delighted to work with the Chinese Government to return these illegal imports for preservation and research, to ensure they are protected for future generations," Mr Garrett said.
"Our successful operations send a strong message to the world that Australia will not tolerate illicit trade in cultural heritage objects."
This repatriation follows the return of 10,000 illegally imported Chinese fossils in September 2005. Other objects seized recently include 130 kilograms of dinosaur and plant fossils returned to the Argentine Republic in August 2007, 16 Dyak Skulls returned to Malaysia in May 2007, and an Asmat human skull from Papua returned to Indonesia in December 2006.
For more information and high resolution images of the fossils:
Media contact:
Margot Marshall 02 6277 7640 or 0418 624 847

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