In August, Nina Mekacher, a proven expert in building culture and monument preservation, took over as head of the Conservation and Restoration Department. She was elected by a large majority and will take over from Stefan Wülfert, who resigned from his position in July after many years of successful work. At the same time, Leonie Achtnich has taken over from Marie Caffari as head of the Swiss Literature Institute in Biel/Bienne.
Nina Mekacher comes from the Bernese Oberland and holds a doctorate in archaeology. After holding positions as managing director at the Federal Commission for Monument Preservation and as vice director at the Society for Swiss Art History, she worked at the Federal Office of Culture since 2012. As Deputy Head of the Building Culture Section, she developed conceptual and strategic instruments for cultural heritage preservation and the promotion of building culture. She coordinated the development of the federal interdepartmental strategy on building culture and was dossier manager for Switzerland’s ratification of the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Importance of Cultural Heritage in Society. Since 2015, she has been teaching in the Master’s program ’History of Art with Conservation and Monument Management’ at the University of Bern.
About the Department of Conservation and RestorationIn addition to teaching, the department is involved in research, continuing education and service. Renowned Swiss and international cultural institutions are important project partners in the cooperation of this multi-layered education. Furthermore, the department actively promotes discourse within the discipline in close cooperation with the Swiss Association for Conservation and Restoration (SKR) through conferences, lectures and meetings and contributes to the establishment of the profession in our society. Together with the Abegg Foundation, the Haute Ecole Arc Conservation-restoration (HE-Arc CR) and the Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana (SUPSI), the department at the Bern University of the Arts is part of the Swiss Conservation-Restoration Campus.
The Department of Conservation and Restoration is composed of two consecutive degree programs, Bachelor of Arts in Conservation and Master of Arts in Conservation-Restoration. Within these two programs, the four majors Architecture and Furnishings (AA), Graphics Prints and Photographs (GSP), Paintings and Sculpture (GuS) & Modern Materials and Media (MMM), Cultural Values, the Art Technology Laboratory, the undergraduate teaching staff, and the Materials Archive shape the various areas of expertise of the department.