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Title: Education in conservation in Malta : challenges and opportunities
Authors: Cassar, JoAnn
Torpiano, Alex
Keywords: University of Malta. Faculty for the Built Environment. Department of the Built Heritage -- Curricula
Universities and colleges -- Study and teaching -- Malta
Buildings -- Energy conservation -- Malta -- Study and teaching
Issue Date: n.d.
Citation: Cassar, J., & Torpiano, A. (n.d.). Education in conservation in Malta : challenges and opportunities. 45-49
Abstract: The University of Malta set up the first full-time course with a conservation theme in 1996, when an MSc in Conservation Technology for Masonry Buildings was organised by the then Institute for Masonry and Construction Research - now integrated within the Faculty for the Built Environment as the Department of the Built Heritage. This course, which is still being held on a biennial basis, is mostly (but not only) attended by young Architects and Civil Engineers who wish to work on building conservation. In 1999, the first hands-on courses in conservation started in Malta - run by the then Malta Centre for Restoration. These courses were divided into four areas, and covered most Cultural Heritage objects, ranging from books to textiles, from canvas paintings to archaeological artefacts. Once the Centre was absorbed into the National heritage agency, Heritage Malta, these undergraduate courses (Bachelor in Conservation and Restoration Studies [Honours)) continued to be run by this organization in strict collaboration with the University of Malta. As of October 2010, all of these courses have fallen under the direct care of the Department of the Built Heritage. The changing needs of the conservation world, both in Malta and abroad, the small numbers of students subscribing to the hands-on courses, the recommendations of ENCoRE, and the restructuring of undergraduate engineering and architecture course of studies led to a recent re-thinking of these conservation courses. Changes are being designed in the case of both courses, which are giving rise to some challenges and a great deal of opportunities. These changes include a revision of the MSc in Conservation Technology for Masonry Buildings, also in the light of structural changes taking place at undergraduate and postgraduate levels within the Faculty for the Built Environment, which lead to the creation of a number of professional and specialisation Masters courses. Even more fundamental are the changes taking place with regards to educating hands-on Conservators. As of October 2012, this training will only take place in Malta at a Masters (MSc) level. The first course will lead to an MSc in the Conservation of Decorative Architectural Surfaces, which will be open to graduates, both Maltese and foreign, from a large number of undergraduate degrees, both in the Sciences and Humanities. This teaching and training will develop in conjunction with legislative changes currently being proposed for the Malta Cultural Heritage Act 2002 (revised 2005), which, for the first time in Malta, had established a Warrant for Conservator-Restorers as mandatory for the practice of the profession in Malta. All these changes are aimed at producing professionals of international standing, capable of working in any European country, and prepared to deliver excellent service to the world of Cultural Heritage.
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