Mila Popović Živančević, Museum Consultant & Director of DIANA Centre, National Museum Belgrade, Serbia
Preventive conservation is based on world-wide scientific exchange, free flow of information and development of education, and aimed at increased availability and accessibility of museum collections to the broadest public.
Preventive conservation implies full care about national heritage and helps safeguarding nation’s identity. Well-preserved national cultures help nations join the regional, European and world cultural heritage.
The safeguarding of cultural heritage, particularly in the transition countries implies implementing well-developed system of preventive conservation as the new methodological principle and strategy.
Long-lasting economic poverty in Serbia and Montenegro caused complete lack of investments in museum buildings and activities; safeguarding and display conditions, work of conservation workshops are under acceptable minimum of standards; closeness and inertia of institutions as to general social trends and changes in the world; almost non-existent modern museology and conservation education; lack of state cultural policy and strategy; professional depression and inability of individuals to aim activities towards common interests and goals – resulted with almost complete devastation of cultural heritage, which increased dangers of devaluation, being damaged, destroyed and lost. Very few museums in Serbia and Montenegro would comply with the required conditions for safeguarding cultural property or are adjusted to modern museological principles.
Effective and strict system of preventive conservation offers a chance for diminishing or eliminating potential risks to cultural heritage in our country and in transition countries in general.
DIANA Centre develops simultaneously the theory and practice of preventive conservation and disposes with energy and flexibility proving that basic preventive conservation principles can be implemented everywhere, if adapted to specific needs and differences. It is a recognisable system that contributes to safeguarding of cultural heritage in the Balkans and the neighbouring transition.