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Saturday, June 1 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm
(Discussion Session) What is Value? - A Socratic Dialogue

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The recent AIC annual meeting in 2012 with the theme, “Outreach”, along with the last few AIC annual meetings, showcased excellent initiatives to help define what it is that conservators do and why preserving cultural heritage is so important. This discourse is all the more important, given that one of the most important contemporary issues facing conservators is the effect of the economic crisis and cost cutting on conservation as a whole. AIC members must continually defend their work and answer questions posed by funding agencies and sponsors, local, state, and national governments, the general public, and even many museums themselves. These include critical questions such as

- what is the value of cultural heritage in this day and age,
- how does one determine what is worth conserving, and
- why should cultural heritage be conserved, that is, why is conservation and why are
conservators valuable.

These and other questions concerning the term “value” have a wide variety of answers depending on the context in which the word is used.

What is value? This question will be discussed in the form of a so-called Socratic dialogue. This is a structured form of dialogue in which all participants actively contribute. The purpose of the dialogue is not to solve the question at hand, that is, specifically define what value is, but to investigate each other’s experience and opinions related to value, and to try to determine the essence behind the word. What is it that conservators and other cultural heritage professionals are concerned about when they ask and talk about value? What is the essence of the word? The Socratic dialogue will help the participants understand what is behind the notion of value, so that they can better formulate arguments to convince people to continue to support conservation efforts throughout the country and abroad.

Saturday June 1, 2013 2:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
JW Marriott White River Ballroom C-D 10 S West St Indianapolis, IN 46204

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