TEFAF MAASTRICHT AND THE PRINCE CLAUS FUND: 10 YEARS OF SUPPORT FOR CONSERVATION AND HERITAGE
(Helvoirt, 15 January 2018)
. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the partnership between TEFAF
and the Prince Claus Fund
. For the past decade TEFAF has supported the Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme run by the Prince Claus Fund, which seeks to preserve cultural heritage and rescue collections in need. From earthquake-proofing an important shrine in Nepal to conserving an ancient watch tower in Sichuan, China, TEFAF and the Prince Claus Fund have worked together to save cultural heritage that would otherwise be lost. Most recently, TEFAF and the Prince Claus Fund supported the protection and conservation of the Library of the San Augustin Monastery in Quito, Ecuador.
SAVING HERITAGE TOGETHER: A PRICELESS LIBRARY IN ECUADOR
The Library of the San Augustin Monastery in Quito, Ecuador, holds over 20,000 priceless rare books, illuminated manuscripts, first prints and publications, some dating back to the 15th century, many written in ancient or lost languages. It houses the archive of the San Augustin order and important documentation of the colonisation of the Americas as well as religious and cultural practices prior to the Spanish conquest. The collection is the only library in the Americas housed in its original building and was declared a ‘memory of the world’ by the National Institute of Patrimony (NIPC).
The building and its contents were in poor shape when a major earthquake struck in April 2016. The powerful quake left 661 people dead and more than 27,000 injured. Although Quito was not significantly affected, years of neglect made the Library of San Augustin and its contents especially vulnerable. The earthquake caused major damage to the ceilings, walls and shelves, leading to severe leaks and high levels of humidity. The building and its collection were at great risk of being lost forever.
Time was the Library’s biggest enemy. The region is earthquake sensitive and another shock would be a fatal blow to the collection. Meanwhile, humidity accelerated the deterioration process, making the books and manuscripts more and more fragile.
Kick-starting the rehabilitation of the Library of the San Augustin Monastery has already had several very important results: not only is it ensuring that an irreplaceable record of culture and history is preserved, it has also begun to raise local and international awareness about the Library, which had remained little known for years. The international involvement of the Prince Claus Fund and TEFAF has added to the prestige of the project, attracting local funders to contribute to longer-term improvements. As a result, local pride is helping to ensure the sustainability of the collection, further anchoring it in Ecuador and making it accessible for generations to come.
-Notes to Editors-
1. IMPORTANT NOTE CONCERNING THE DATES OF THE FAIR
2. TEFAF Maastricht
- Thursday 8th March – 10am – 7pm – Early Access Day (invite only).
- Friday 9th March – 11am – 7pm – Preview Day (invite only).
- Saturday 10th March – Saturday 17th March - 11am – 7pm – General Admission
- Sunday 18th March – 11am – 6pm – General Admission
- General Admission tickets are €40 and can be bought via www.tefaf.com or on arrival at the Fair.
TEFAF Maastricht, the world’s leading art and antiques Fair, is unequalled in the quality of its offering, championing the finest art dealers and experts from around the world. TEFAF is a not-for-profit foundation that supports dealers, collectors and museums and which inspires lovers and buyers of art everywhere. The 31st
edition of TEFAF Maastricht will be held in the MECC Maastricht from 10-18 March 2018.
TEFAF. Your Art Community.
3. Art, more than an Asset
TEFAF shares its view of art as more than an asset with its principal sponsor, AXA ART. Their partnership provides art collectors with unique expertise covering the full range of risk prevention, conservation, recovery and restoration, to enable them to maintain their collections in the best possible condition. www.axa-art.com
4. About the Prince Claus Fund
The Prince Claus Fund actively seeks cultural collaborations founded on equality and trust with partners of excellence, in spaces where resources and opportunities for cultural expression, creative production and research are limited and cultural heritage is threatened. The Prince Claus Fund’s Cultural Emergency Response (CER) Programme, acting immediately to save art and cultural heritage in the wake of natural disaster and conflict, is unique in the world. The Fund gives people and communities around the world the chance to secure precious art and historical cultural expression, and thereby helps them to rebuild their lives and build a better future. For more information www.princeclausfund.org
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