Network for Conservation of Contemporary Art Research (NeCCAR)


The proposed project aims to initiate a permanent international research network and to develop joint research projects and a training curriculum on the topic of theory, methodology and ethics of the conservation of contemporary art. Contemporary art works pose specific challenges to conservation, such as rapid material degradation, technological obsolescence, or site specificity. Standard conservation theory and ethics start from the assumption that art works should be preserved in their original state. As they do not recognize the inherent variability of most contemporary art works they do not provide adequate guidelines for their conservation. There is at present much case-based, practice-oriented research done by museums and other heritage institutions and facilitated through international professional networks. Theory development, however, is still fragmentary and scattered over many different universities, museums and heritage institutions in various countries. This project brings together established and emerging academic and professional research centres and groups in order critically assess new approaches to the conservation of contemporary art, set an international research agenda and enable young researchers to investigate the theoretical, methodological and ethical dimensions of conservation of contemporary art in close connection to conservation practice.


Book or monography

  • F Robertson, E Hermens(2016): Authenticity in Transition pp. 205

Scientific article

Publications for the general public

  • R van de Vall, V van Saaze, P Laurenson(2012): NeCCAR: Network for Conservation of Contemporary Art Research
  • R van de Vall, V van Saaze, E Hedley(2012): Cultures of Conservation


Project number


Main applicant

Prof. dr. R. van de Vall

Affiliated with

Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Literature and Art


01/01/2012 to 01/09/2015