ICOM-CC/Getty International Program participants.

Wednesday Session Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to present the following speakers.

Salvador Muñoz Viñas

Salvador Muñoz Viñas was born in 1963 in Valencia, Spain, where he continues to live and work. He has two licenciaturas (five-year university degrees), in Fine Arts and Art History, and a PhD in Fine Arts. He is a Professor in the Universitat Politècnica de València and head of the paper conservation group of the university’s Conservation Institute. Along his career he has worked as a paper conservator in the Historical Library of the University of Valencia, as a visiting scholar in Harvard University’s Straus Center for Conservation, and as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Conservation Center of the NYU. He has also lectured in different universities and centres, such as the Hampden-Sydney College, in Virginia), the National Gallery of Art, in Washington DC, the Sorbonne, in Paris, the British Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts, in London, or the ICCROM, in Rome.

His research work revolves around both the theory of conservation and the technical aspects of paper conservation. He has published a number of articles on these topics, and books such as The Technical Analysis of Renaissance Miniature Paintings (Cambridge, MA, 1995, coauthored with Eugene F. Farrell), La restauración del papel (Madrid, 2010) or Diccionario de materiales de la restauración (Madrid, 2014, coauthored with I. Gironés y J. Osca). His Contemporary Theory of Conservation (Oxford, 2005) has been translated into several languages, such as Chinese, Czech, Persian or Italian, and has been said to represent “the most ambitious theoretical effort of the last 25 years” (C. Pesme, Studies in Conservation).


One year after the creation of the ICOM Committee for Conservation, Marshall McLuhan wrote: “Since the new information environments are direct extensions of our own nervous system, they have a much more profound relation to our human condition than the old "natural" environment. (…) Quite naturally, they take over the evolutionary work that Darwin had seen in the spontaneities of biology.” This metaphor may be more or less precise, but it is undeniable that, at the very least, our cultural environment is undergoing three important changes: the paramount relevance of intangible realities, an unashamed hard-core cartesianism prevalent among decision-makers, and a widespread, blatant epistemic anarchy. These changes are altering our perception of the world (which is perhaps to say "the world"), but are also threatening the museum (and its related activities) as we know it.

Eske Willerslev

Eske Willerslev is the Prince Philip Chair in Ecology and Evolution at Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge. He is also Lundbeck Foundation Professorship at University of Copenhagen and is the director for Centre of Excellence in GeoGenetics. Willerslev is an evolutionary geneticist recognized for his studies on human evolution and dispersal, microbial long-term survival and evolution, megafaunal extinctions, DNA degradation, and environmental DNA. He is particularly known for sequencing the first ancient human genome and establishing the field of environmental DNA, where modern and ancient DNA from organisms such as higher plants and animals are obtained directly from environmental samples such as sediments, ice and water. Willerslev was born in Denmark in 1971. After spending his youth as explorer and fur trapper in Siberia, he established the first ancient DNA laboratory in Denmark and obtained his DSc at University of Copenhagen in 2004.

At the age of 33, Willerslev became Full Professor at University of Copenhagen - the youngest in Denmark at the time. Willerslev has been visiting researcher at the MD Anderson Cancer Research Centre in Austin, Texas and independent Welcome Trust Fellow at Oxford. He is foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences, member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, horary doctor at University of Oslo and have been Visiting Professor at Oxford University and a Miller Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley. Willerslev is interested in processes forming contemporary human genetic diversity and distribution, the evolution of human diseases, and the processes underlying culture development, and in the impact of humans and climates on the environment through time including extinctions. He has more than 200 peer-reviewed papers, including more than 40 papers published in the journals Nature and Science (28 as first or last author).