2 November 2023, Rome, Italy – The winner of the 2023 ICCROM Award was announced today on the sidelines of the 33rd session of the ICCROM General Assembly, held 2-3 November in Rome, Italy. This biennial Award is one of the most prestigious international recognitions in the field of cultural heritage. It is granted to individuals who have contributed significantly to ICCROM’s development or who have exceptional merit in the conservation, protection and restoration of cultural heritage.
“It is with great pleasure that, on behalf of ICCROM, we have the honour of introducing the winner of the 2023 ICCROM Award, Agnes Brokerhof,” said John Robbins, Chairperson of ICCROM Council. “She is an internationally active and widely respected conservation scientist who has been a key contributor to many ICCROM initiatives,” he added. “This award is a recognition of the significant contributions that Agnes has made to numerous ICCROM programmes and projects in the field of cultural heritage conservation in the Netherlands and internationally.”
Ms. Brokerhof, a Dutch conservation scientist and scholar, holds a BSc in biochemistry, a MSc in Analytical Chemistry, and a BA in art history. Following her research fellowship at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), she completed the ICCROM course “Scientific Principles of Conservation” in Rome and currently works for the Cultural Heritage Laboratory of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands.
Ms. Brokerhof has dedicated her career to the conservation and management of all forms of cultural heritage. The importance of her work has been recognized worldwide, as she has been invited to speak at numerous conferences and events, sharing her knowledge and skills through lectures and inspiring others in the field, in addition to her teaching, publications, and research papers.
“I am always amazed by the number of projects ICCROM carries out all over the world and the lasting impact they have, with a relatively small team in Rome. It is thanks to the ‘ICCROMized’ professionals they carefully select and tie together into a powerful network. I am proud to be a knot in that network and contribute my bit,” said Ms. Brokerhof upon receiving the award.
“I feel ICCROM has meant more to me than I can ever mean to ICCROM. With the world on fire, literally and figuratively, ICCROM supports communities by safeguarding their cultural heritage as anchors of identity for an uncertain future,” she added. “I feel very fortunate to always have enjoyed what I do and done what I enjoy, and to then get awarded for that… Others must have enjoyed it, too!”
Ms. Brokerhof’s contributions to conservation theory, science, and practice have spanned a great diversity of heritage, from built heritage and natural sciences and humanities collections to contemporary art. The emphasis of her work lies in finding practical and cost-effective solutions for real-life problems in heritage conservation and management, developing new knowledge and methods to support heritage institutions in doing their work more effectively and efficiently.
“The ICCROM Award stands as a symbol of excellence and dedication in the field of cultural heritage preservation,” said Dr. Webber Ndoro, ICCROM Director General. “It recognizes and honours individuals who have made exceptional contributions in the field, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps,” he added. “As we honour Ms. Brokerhof and celebrate the ICCROM Award and the remarkable achievements it represents, let us be reminded of the importance of preserving our cultural legacy for the benefit of present and future generations,” Dr Ndoro concluded.