Qatar National Library to Host First “Scientific Applications in Cultural Heritage Forum”


Qatar National Library is organizing the first edition of the “Scientific Applications in Cultural Heritage Forum” on 25 – 30 January 2021. Held virtually, the forum will feature lectures and presentations on pigments and dyes in manuscripts and heritage objects by leading experts in the field.

Over the five days, these practical sessions will address the most important spectroscopic techniques for non-invasive and non-destructive analysis, given their impact on fundamental knowledge, interpretation and conservation.

Commenting on the occasion, Stephane Ipert, Director of Distinctive Collections at the Library, said:

“Recent developments in scientific devices and techniques, especially non-destructive techniques, have significantly contributed to the advancement of studies and research on heritage objects. This, in turn, helps enrich our understanding of the components, composition and appearance of these objects, which ultimately plays a vital role not just in understanding the artist’s work, but more importantly, in the restoration and conservation process. The characterization of the pigments may also help assign a probable manuscript age.”

One of the featured speakers, Dr. Hamda Al-Sulaiti, Secretary-General at the Qatari National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, said:

“It is important to have a clear understanding of the state and mechanisms of deterioration in materials used in cultural objects as a result of aging or exposure to environmental factors. Today, a rich range of analytical tools are being used by scientists and can be applied to archaeological materials and monuments. This is incredibly useful in decision-making while undertaking restoration or maintenance processes, especially as we acquire the means to conduct analyses using safe and non-destructive techniques.”

The forum will also feature lectures on Arabic and Persian pigments and how they were made; extraction methods and dyeing processes; analytical techniques for the identification of pigments and dyes; applications and case studies of Fiber Optic Reflectance Spectroscopy and X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy; and conservation issues and deterioration processes encountered with pigments and dyes found in Islamic manuscripts.

Lectures and presentations will be delivered by renowned scientists and specialists in the field, including Dr. Mandana Barkeshli, Conservation Scientist at the University of Melbourne; Dr. Antonino Cosentino, Cultural Heritage Scientist; Dr. Sadra Zekrgoo, Materials Conservation Scientist at the University of Melbourne; Amélie Couvrat Desvergnes, Paper and Book Researcher and Conservator; Maxim Nasra, Book Conservation Specialist at the Library.


Source: Qatar National Library