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The ABC Method: a risk management approach to the preservation of cultural heritage

“If you have ever wondered how to balance preservation with sustainability, shrinking resources, user demands, and public accountability, then this method can help. Finally, if you have ever wondered how to present all this succinctly to decision makers, with transparent priorities, then this method can help… In simple language, our goal is the best preservation of the value of the heritage asset with the available resources. In more technical terms, our goal is to assess the risks and deterioration processes affecting our heritage asset, and then to act to reduce them as effectively as possible, given the available resources… Risk-based decision making is the application of risk assessments to a decision. The distinction with risk management is only a matter of degree. Many useful preservation decisions can be made using very focused assessments of one or two risks. If, on the other hand, one wants to “manage” risks of a heritage asset, one needs assessments of most, if not all, of the risks.” (p.8)