Page 48 - University of Pretoria RESEARCH REVIEW 2016
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HERITAGE and society
Cultural heritage in all its tangible forms – from artworks to architecture, archaeology and museum collections – offers a link between
the past, present and future. The continued visual presence of such forms of heritage
is vital for a sense of history and place.
All structures and objects decay over time, and Isabelle McGinn, Department of UP Arts and conservator at the UP Museums, makes the point that there has been an increasing recognition worldwide that heritage conservation must be prioritised as a national and, in fact, moral obligation.
The University of Pretoria has an extensive collection of art, archaeology and museum collections.
Conservation at UP Museums is proactive, and includes large-scale preservation projects such as
the Lerapo Bone and Ivory Preservation Project
and the Mapungubwe Gold Conservation Project. Most recently, the Letsopa gallery in the Old Arts Building was the final step in the refurbishment of the permanent exhibition of the UP Ceramic collections (2011–2016). In this gallery, 116 low-fired ceramic vessels, spindle whorls and figurines have been placed on permanent exhibition, many for the first time.
Exhibition preparation is an interdisciplinary effort between exhibition designers, researchers, curators and conservators lending their expertise to the design of the new museum space; provenance
and archival research into discovery and early
    Conservation work on a Mapungubwe clay pot.
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