Blog: Leonie BarrieTextile Conservation Centre needs saving

Leonie Barrie | 3 December 2007

What do Henry VIII's football boots, the hood of the Elephant Man and Freddie Mercury's outlandish concert costumes all have in common?

They’re among the conservation projects carried out by the Textile Conservation Centre (TCC), the world’s leading school for textile conservation – which is threatened with closure in 2009 unless an endowment of GBP5m can be found.

The TCC, which is based in Winchester School of Art and has trained half the world’s select group of 800 textile conservators, is to shut because it no longer fits Southampton University's research and funding criteria.

The Centre is the only place in the UK offering postgraduate courses in textile conservation, and if it closes, staff expertise will be lost and its collections dispersed across the world.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that losing the Textile Conservation Centre will leave a gaping hole in the provision of specialist conservation training in the UK and internationally, since so few specialist centres exist.

For anyone who wants to add their signature to the campaign to keep the TCC open, an e-mail petition has been set up on the Downing Street website

Textile school is stitched up


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