The proceedings of the seminar GRADOC: Graphic Documentation Systems in Conservation of Mural Paintings—held at and organized by ICCROM in Rome in November 1999—have been published by ICCROM (

At this international seminar—which the Getty Conservation Institute assisted in planning—26 specialists in the field of conservation documentation addressed the purpose and the methodology for the documentation of wall paintings, as well as the advantages and challenges of using rapidly evolving digital technology. The proceedings publication provides a comprehensive overview of the current status of knowledge in this field.

The seminar was designed as a forum for a productive interchange of ideas. The participants, from 16 countries, shared research findings and practical experience, attempted to define the basic principles for the graphic documentation of mural paintings and related architectural surfaces, and evaluated recent applications, including computer-aided systems.

Presentations were organized in two groups of topics. The first addressed the aims, methods, and standards of graphic documentation, while the second focused on the critical evaluation of digital graphic documentation and databases. In addition to attending the presentations, participants divided into working groups to develop recommendations about documentation.

Papers from both groups of topics and the results of the working group sessions are included in the publication. The publication also includes a glossary of terms related to conservation documentation and a transcript of the discussion that followed the presentations.

At the seminar, GCI staff members Francesca Piqué and Gaetano Palumbo presented the protocol of graphic condition recording used in GCI field projects and the spatial database developed for the conservation of the Siqueiros mural América Tropical, in Los Angeles. They also chaired several seminar sessions and later participated as members of the editing committee of the book.

Support for the seminar and the proceedings publication was provided by the GCI, English Heritage, and the European Union Raphael Program. Other partner institutions included: the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro, Italy; the Wall Painting Conservation Department of the Courtauld Institute of Art, United Kingdom; the Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique, Belgium; the Niedersachsen Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, Germany; the Comité International de Photogrammétrie Architecturale, Canada; and the Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche, Italy.