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01/03/2010 - 01/03/2010


International Symposium

National Gallery of Denmark, Sølvgade 48-50, Copenhagen
March 1, 2010

How can we create exhibitions and expose our common cultural heritage in a sustainable way which is also acceptable for future generations? How can museums be run in a more CO2 neutral way while simultaneously guaranteeing an adequate indoor climate? These, and other crucial questions and issues, will be discussed and scrutinized during this one day symposium.

The symposium will offer information and food for thought to stakeholders from ministries of culture, heritage organisations and partners within the European museum organisations. But the symposium also aims at informing those who are in the process of creating new museum buildings or rebuilding old ones how do we accommodate current demands and future expectations in the building process? The National Gallery of Denmark will present an inspiring case-history of how regulating their seasonal indoor climate resulted in considerable energy savings as well as minimising their CO2 footprint with the aim of becoming totally neutral within the near future.

On top of this the dangers to art works caused by increasing levels of ozone, nitrogen oxides, and other malign gaseous emissions within the museum climate will be touched upon.

Another main topic of the symposium will be how to make the right decisions about attaining a realistic up-keep and presentation of our cultural heritage without compromising its physical fragility. European standards for museums and transport as well as political desires for a larger international lending activity will be addressed.

Unilateral changes that effect institutional requirements for museum climate (RH, temperature and light) may also effect international loan procedures for temporary exhibitions. The symposium will address some of the questions which are inherent to these new challenges: Can we gather the museum field nationally and/or internationally around new acceptable climate requirements for exhibition galleries and storage? Can we envision Green Museums as role-models for society? And lastly, how does a global movement such as Cradle-to-Cradle see the function of the museum as keepers of the past and torches for the future?

The symposium will take place on Monday March 1, 2010 at the National Gallery of Denmark. This is simultaneous with the current temporary
exhibitions ‘Nature Strikes Back’ and ‘RETHINK’, both offering the public tantalizing food for thought.

The symposium is organised by the National Gallery of Denmark in collaboration with The Association of Danish Museums (ODM) and made possible thanks to support from the Heritage Agency of Denmark (KUAS).


Monday March 1st 2010

9:15  Welcome by Dr. Jørgen Wadum, Keeper of Conservation

9:30 Session one: Museum climate a choice

The Minister for Climate and Energy, opening speech

Stefan Michalski, Senior Conservation Scientist at CCI-ICC, Canada
Decision models for the protection of collections

Sarah Staniforth, Historic Properties Director National Trust,
UK Climate changes and museum practices

10:30   Discussion/summing up, Dr. David Saunders, British Museum, UK

11:00   Coffee/tea

11:30   Session two: Air quality

Michael K. Hansen, Head of Security and Maintenance,
SMK Going green challenges and possibilities

Dr. Morten Ryhl Svendsen, Nationalmuseet, Denmark
Energy consumption vs. quality of indoor climate

12:10   Discussion/summing up, Dr. Tor Broström, Gotland University, Sweden

12:30   Lunch at SMK

14:00   Session three: NI-regulations and EU standards

Dr. Susanna Pettersson, Director of Development, Finnish National Gallery
EU-ambitions for Collections Mobility

Dr. David Saunders, Keeper of Conservation British Museum,
UK Challenges and possibilities

14:40   Discussion/summing up, Rasmus Vestergaard, director SNYK and of the Danish Museum Organisation (ODM)

14:50   Coffee/tea

15:15   Session four: The museum as part of the green movement

Dr. May Cassar, UCL London, UK
From a Low Carbon Past to a Low Carbon Future: What can Building Retrofit Policy learn from Museums

Martin Fluri, Director EPEA Kopenhagen, Denmaark
Going beyond green – Cradle to Cradle, a strategy for quality and total beauty

15:50   Final panel discussion, by Dr. Tim Padfield, Freelance consultant in preventive conservation, UK

16:30   Reception and visit to the special SMK exhibition Nature Strikes Back and RETHINK Relations, the National Gallery of Denmark contribution to the multi-venue exhibition RETHINK Contemporary Art & Climate Change.

The seminar is organised by the National Gallery of Denmark in collaboration with The Association of Danish Museums (ODM)

Reservations for eventual last minute changes  -  on-line booking facilities will be available from January 2010 at

H-Net Network for Museums and Museum Studies

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