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6 December 2021: Symposium 'Asbestos exposed. Best practices'

In 2014, an 'asbestos phase out plan' was approved with the aim of making Belgium more asbestos-safe by 2040. But what about the museum sector that conserves objects containing asbestos in collections and considers them heritage to be preserved?

The WHI wants to help raise awareness among the heritage sector in Belgium about the danger of harmful patrimony and the use of dangerous products in museum collections, because a museum organization is responsible for the safety of employees and the public.

A symposium will be organized on 6 December 2021 with the following theme: management of dangerous patrimony with practical examples from our own collection and from the wider Belgian museum field.

The program:

11:45: Welcome drink and snack.
13:00: Opening by Director Michel Jaupart, WHI.
13:10: Dangerous patrimony in heritage institutions: a state of play.

ETWIE (Cell of Expertise for Technical, Scientific and Industrial Heritage). dr. Joeri Januarius, coordinator.

13:30: Historical explanation of the use of new weapons in WWI: flamethrowers and asbestos.

Mathieu Willemsen, Firearms Curator, National Military Museum.

13:50: Display cabinets for pieces containing asbestos, the creative process from design to realization.

Walter Minnaert, designer design studio WHI.

14:00: Museology, the fine line between exhibiting and preserving.

Jurre Biemans and architect Ben Schepens, Bruns bv. Xavier van Houthave, Project Director Museums, Conservation, Lighting / Bruns bv.

14:20: Asbestos yard in a museum - conserve, don't remove - Action plan.

Luk Dekeyser, Julien Meurant, Viabuild nv.

14:50: Asbestos in the collection of uniforms & equipment WWI, preparation for relocation of asbestos objects, display and safe storage.

Ilse Bogaerts, head of the collections and restoration studios: textiles, iconography, faleristics, WHI. Peter De Groof, textile restorer, WHI.

15:10: Asbestos in the history of science collection : How to store in depots?

Ghent University Museum. dr. Kristel Wautier, collection policy coordinator and collection manager 'History of the Sciences'.

15:30: Dangerous Patrimony! An investigation into the consolidation of asbestos-containing material in heritage objects.

Sanne Wynants, Art Salvage Managing Director Belgium.

3:45 PM: Q & A + Conclusions - Closing Word: ICOM BELGIUM.
16:00 Possibility of a museum tour: asbestos showcases, WWI room.
17:00 End of the study day.

Practical information

Where: Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, Cinquantenaire Park 3, 1000 Brussels When: Monday, December 6, 2021 You can register by sending an email to ilse.bogaerts@warheritage.be