We are pleased to invite you to actively participate on the International Congress Lights On… Cultural Heritage and Museums!, to be held in Porto, Portugal, on July 20th, 21st and 22nd 2015.

Facing serious times of change, museums and other cultural institutions, discuss and reflect, in a deeply and interdisciplinary way, about their role in resilience, sustainability and quality of life of the twenty-first century society.

The XXI century is seen as the Century of Light, as light and light-based technologies are recognized as major economic drivers with the potential to revolutionize it. In that sense, UNESCO proclaimed 2015 the International Year of Light (IYL2015, AIL2015), also “Noting that 2015 coincides with the anniversaries of a series of important milestones in the history of the science of light, including the works on optics by Ibn Al-Haytham in 1015, the notion of light as a wave proposed by Fresnel in 1815, the electromagnetic theory of light propagation proposed by Maxwell in 1865, Einstein’s theory of the photoelectric effect in 1905 and of the embedding of light in cosmology through general relativity in 1915, the discovery of the cosmic microwave background by Penzias and Wilson and Kao’s achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibres for optical communication, both in 1965” (United Nations, A/RES/68/221, 2014).

Such revolution happens and has significant impact on cultural heritage and museums. Aware of the process, this congress joins the international initiatives on the IYL2015, and adopts the concept of light in its broader meaning, that is, not only the form of energy associated with the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, but also all other invisible radiation such as X-rays, ultraviolet, infrared, among many. It aims to raise and enhance awareness for its potential and crucial role in cultural heritage and in inclusive museums.

Assuming a multi and interdisciplinary character, we are sure that it will strengthen the cooperation bonds between professional, scientific and educational communities and provide a platform for sharing experiences and knowledge about important scientific and technological advances in the field, featuring Thematic Sessions, with Plenary Lectures and Oral Presentations, Poster Session and Workshops. The official language will be English and the focus will be on the following topics:

1. Science of vision. The perception of colour as a function of illumination
2. Lighting systems in museums / historical buildings / monuments. Requirements and scientific and technological developments
3. Built environment. Solutions. Energy resources and sustainability
4. Study and safeguard of heritage associated with the production of energy and electric lighting
5. Scientific examination of heritage and analytical applications using different radiation. Research on
i. Materials, technologies, functions and producers
ii. Alteration processes and diagnosis
6. Technologies of communication and mediation
7. Curative conservation and restoration
8. Integrated risk management. Preventive conservation

It may also be an excellent opportunity to conciliate the scientific experience with the pleasure of some vacations in Porto, a city with an unique light, considered the happiest in Europe 2014 by Erasmus Student Network, according to a study by the Rheingold Institute of Germany, in partnership with Smart. Come and explore its World Heritage Historical Centre. Take a look around it and to its Management Plan. Get to know its museums, monuments, historic and most emblematic places and traditions. Relax at the Ribeira, nominated 2015 Europe World Travel Awards for best tourist attraction. We will help, with a program of socio-cultural activities, which will be disclosed in due course.

Hoping to see you in Porto in July 2015,
The Committees of the Lights On… Cultural Heritage and Museums!