We are pleased to announce a special, hybrid edition of the NICAS colloquium on Thursday 28 March 2024 from 12.00 to 13.00 hrs. The colloquium will take place in Conference room B of the Ateliergebouw in Amsterdam for those who wish to attend physically, but will also be streamed through Microsoft Teams.
The link to join online will be sent through the NICAS mailing list. You can subscribe to the mailing list here.
If you wish to participate in person and require entry, please register via the form below.
Thijs Weststeijn (Universiteit Utrecht) will present.
Margriet van Eikema Hommes (Rijksdienst voor Cultureel Erfgoed) will chair.
The future of the past: heritage and climate
While the wooden poles under Amsterdam begin to rot, water levels in Venice are rising, archaeological sites in Pakistan are flooding and the temples of Babylon are collapsing due to salinisation. The climate crisis is endangering historical heritage all over the world, through higher temperatures and humidity, more storms and fires, and of course the rising seas. Monuments, buildings, inner cities and cultural landscapes are under threat, and museums like the Louvre have already started moving parts of their collections into climate-proof storage.
This lecture gives an overview of the subject and makes suggestions for solutions. There is a special focus on the Netherlands, where heritage has been closely bound to the natural environment since the seventeenth century – the Little Ice Age. Moreover, there is a lot at stake due to the rising sea level. Climate change means that we have to deal with history in new ways. Nowadays, historical heritage confronts us not only with the past, but also with the future.
Thijs Weststeijn is a Professor of Art History at Utrecht University. His publications include Art and Antiquity in the Netherlands and Britain (2015) and The Visible World (2008). He regularly writes for a wider public, for which he was awarded the ABG/Vrij Nederland Essay Prize. He has previously published essays on heritage and climate change in De Groene Amsterdammer and Aeon (also as a podcast).