Descartes-Huygens Prize for art conservation researcher and literary scholar

8 November 2018

French art conservation researcher Marine Cotte and literary scholar Katell Lavéant have won the 2018 Descartes-Huygens Prize. The two specialists have received the award for their outstanding research and their contribution to Franco-Dutch cooperation. The prize, € 23,000, makes it possible for them to continue their respective research collaborations.

Marine Cotte

Marine Cotte, researcher at the French National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS), is currently seconded at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, where she develops new technologies to examine works of art and archaeological objects. Her research is of enormous value to society because it provides the basis for managing and protecting important examples of cultural heritage. By working with museums, she joins the interests of science to those of society and links cultural heritage to advanced technology. Marine is a pioneering and dedicated researcher who herself took the first steps towards working with Dutch researchers. Receiving the Descartes-Huygens Prize will allow her to go to the Netherlands several times to work with researchers at Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and other institutions. She will enter into new alliances with museum conservationists, curators, art historians and technical scientists.

Katell Lavéant

Katell Lavéant is an associate professor of French language and culture at Utrecht University. She specialises in the late medieval and Renaissance period. As a project coordinator, she studies late medieval and early modern literary and festive culture in France and the Low Countries. The Descartes-Huygens Prize will allow her to work more closely with historian Malcolm Walsby (Université Rennes II, France) on the ‘Sammelband’ research project. Her aim is to develop new research methods for studying collections of early printed books. This is important because it can reveal what ‘the common people’ read during and after the Renaissance and how they acquired knowledge. Cooperation between the two research teams will contribute to the development and testing of new bibliographical aids and to the training of young literary scholars. The cooperation will also provide a solid basis for assembling an international network of scholars and book industry professionals.

About the Descartes-Huygens Prize

The annual Descartes-Huygens Prize was established by the French and Dutch governments in 1995 to recognise researchers for their outstanding work and their contribution to Franco-Dutch relations. An Academy jury selects the French laureate. The Dutch candidate is selected by the Académie des Sciences. The prize money (€ 23,000) is intended to cover the cost of their research residence in the Netherlands and France respectively. The 2018 Descartes-Huygens Prize will be presented to both the Dutch and French laureates at an award ceremony to be held in Amsterdam in early 2019.