AVICOM supports ICOM and ICOMOS in call to allow the use of Nitrogen for the protection of cultural heritage
(Jan. 8, 2020)
Our letter to:
European Commission DG
SANTE Unit E.4 – Pesticides and Biocides F101 05/068
1049 Brussels, Belgium
Paris, January 8, 2020
Appeal for the cultural heritage collections: Allow a derogation of the nitrogen ban (EU 528/2012)
Memory institutions, museums and monuments are frequently challenged by pests due to various forms of contamination and changing climatic conditions.
One of the most versatile and environmentally friendly methods, where the use of hazardous chemicals is avoided, for disinfection purposes are “anoxia” or controlled atmospheres with an extremely low content of oxygen in treatment chambers where nitrogen is generated in situ for anoxic insect disinfestation of cultural heritage objects.
The EU legislation issue
Since the mandatory registration of the use of nitrogen for disinfection purposes by the biocidal products regulation EU 528/2012 in September 2017, only one method of using nitrogen (along with several other restrictions) was acknowledged and included: nitrogen in canisters. In situ generated nitrogen fell out. The nitrogen ban is not justified for health aspects and economically damaging the market of European stakeholders in the integrated pest management (IPM) business.
Because of this juridical flaw, existing anoxia facilities in Europe can no longer be operated legally. As a result, cultural heritage institutions are facing an acute danger of damage or irretrievable loss.
I therefore strongly urge the Commission to allow for a derogation under art. 55(3) in the BPR to be granted those Member States applying, because this method allows any material to be safely treated, contrary to the alternatives. In situ generated nitrogen is harmless, the most economic and environmentally friendly alternative to the presently allowed use of nitrogen for this purpose.
I look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.
Dr. Michael H. Faber, President of AVICOM
AVICOM participated in „Revolution: Velvet x Digital. 30 Years of Digital and Social Media in Museums“, November 6-7, 2019, Bratislava
(Dec. 16, 2019)
In 2019, the countries of the former Socialist Block commemorate th 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Iron Curtain. This Fall had not only connected two different worlds but also facilitated a fast exchange of information and experience among museum professionals. The conference „Revolution: Velvet x Digital“, organized by the Slovak ICOM Committee with support by the Austrian and Czech ICOM Committees and others, reflected the developments in the field of Digital and Social Media in Museums since the last 30 years, with a view to the future.
AVICOM took part with two contributions: Under the title „No Future without Instawalk and Virtual Reality?“ Michael H. Faber, President of AVICOM, presented some provocative theses about sense and nonsense, use and abuse of New Media in the museum context. Prof. Dr. Janos Tari, former President of AVICOM, gave a report on „Visual Trends in the Award-Winning Museum Projects of the AVICOM f@imp Festival (Festival of Audiovisual International Multimedia Patrimony).
ICOM Kyoto 2019: AVICOM Sessions were well attended
(Dec. 16, 2019)
© Photo: Michael H. Faber / AVICOM
24 lectures in five sessions, concrete decisions at the meeting of the newly elected board for the next term of office as well as an eventful offsite meeting with excursion Osaka: This is the track record of AVICOM in Kyoto.
In the first session, dedicated to the topic “AVICOM – Change of Duties in a World of Changing Communication”, Michael H. Faber (Germany) and Ildikó Szabòne Fejes (Hungary) discussed the tasks of the IC in the future. Janós Tari (Hungary) presented media developments during the history of AVICOM „f@imp“ festival.
In two further sessions, media innovations in the areas of documentation, restoration / reconstruction and communication with the public were presented.
Subsequent sessions focused on aspects of sustainability of digital databases and abilities to use media for barrier reduction and inclusion.
With an average of 40 participants, all sessions were well attended. The lectures will be published in a book on demand. Informations: avicom.mini.icom.museum.
Offsite meeting in Osaka: Around 20 guests visited to NHK TV Studio and to Sakai City Museum where they could plunge, with headsets, into the virtual reality of the Emperors‘ mausoleums.
Osaka, Sakai City Museum: Participants exploring the virtual reality of Emperors‘ mausoleums © Photo: Michael H. Faber / AVICOM
Topics for the next years: Use of Social Media and Applications, Virtual and Augmented Reality for reconstruction and mediation of cultural heritage, barrier reduction and inclusion by media as well as legal aspects of digitalization.
Discovered in the Old Town of Kyoto: another type of museum… © Photo: Michael H. Faber / AVICOM