Macau History & Heritage Public Lecture Series | Science and Patience: Practices and challenges in the conservation of cultural artifacts



The Macau History & Heritage Public Lecture Series – “Science and Patience: Practices and challenges in the conservation of cultural artifacts” will take place on May 11 at the Rui Cunha Foundation.


Science and Patience could be the motto of conservator-restorers, the scalpel and the binocular loupe could be their symbols. The world of Conservation and Restoration is full of complexity, not only due to the diversity of materials that constitute cultural artifacts, but also because of ethical demands and relevant specificities implied in the treatment of these objects. For the conservator-restorer each and every object/treatment is unique and there are no ‘magical recipes’. This is also the reason why Conservation and Restoration requires a high level of scientific and technical skills that can only be achieved through advanced studies and a particularly thorough practical training that gives the conservators capacity for decision-making and execution.

The Conservator-Restorer is one of the main players in the preservation of cultural artifacts, but he does not act alone. He usually integrates multi and interdisciplinary teams that contribute to a more complete understanding of the objects, and the intervention is made not only according to material and technical issues, but also taking into account the context of the object, its historical course, its function and the public it is intended for. In the big picture of Cultural Heritage the goal of Conservation and Restoration goes beyond the obvious purpose of preserving artefacts.

With the purpose of illustrating the challenges of Conservation and Restoration, we will go through multiple practical examples selected for this talk to highlight the cultural nuances of Conservation and its expression and importance in different situations, closing with a discussion about possible strategies for Macau.


Cláudia Falcão is a freelance specialist in conservation and restoration, specializing in restoration of wooden sculpture and easel paintings. She graduated from Polytechnic Institute of Tomar, Portugal with degree in Conservation and Restoration, with her post-graduation in Museology and Museography at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon, Portugal. She has a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Conservation of Cultural Heritage at the Faculty of Arts, University of the Basque Country, Spain. 

She has 11 years of teaching experience in Conservation and Restoration at the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar (Portugal). Until 2019 she collaborated with the Portuguese scientific journal of conservation – Conservar Património, published by the Portuguese Association of conservators-restorers (ARP). She is currently an affiliated member of Techn&Art – Technology, Restoration and Arts Center, a research unit supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Sciences and Technology (FCT).

Presently living in Macau, she collaborated with BABEL Cultural Organization, Macau Literary Festival and the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) where she taught the course on conservation of cultural artifacts. She is currently the manager of Livraria Portuguesa (Portuguese Bookstore), one of the key places for promoting Portuguese culture and language in Macau.


Date & Time: Thursday, 11 May, 2023 | 18:30 – 19:30
Location: Fundação Rui Cunha, Av. da Praia Grande, no. 749, Macau
Language: English

Moderated by: Prof. Denis Zuev
Organised by: Research Laboratory for Cultural Sustainability, and the Department of History and Heritage Studies of the University of Saint Joseph 
Co-organised and hosted by: Fundação Rui Cunha 

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*Free event, open to the general public