First Aid and Risk Preparedness for Cultural Heritage in Libya

June 29, 2015

Building national capacities

field exercisesThe ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre, in cooperation with the UNESCO Office in Cairo, held a course on Building National Capacities for Libyan Professionals in First Aid and Risk Preparedness for Cultural Heritage in Djerba, Tunisia from 12 to 15 June 2015.

The aim of this course was to train cultural heritage professionals in Libya to undertake preventive and first aid interventions in times of crisis for risk reduction and protection of cultural heritage. It included twenty-two participants from various professional backgrounds (archaeologists, engineers and curators), coming from such Libyan cities as Tripoli, Labdah, Cyrene, Benghazi, Fezzan and Sabrathah.

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First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Syria

June 22, 2015

Beirut, Lebanon, 1-10 June 2015

group photo of Syrian First AidersIn efforts to provide support to cultural heritage professionals in Syria, the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Centre recently joined forces with UNESCO and the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage – Bahrain (ARC-WH) to hold a course in Beirut, Lebanon, on First Aid to Built Cultural Heritage for Syrian professionals.

The aim was to establish national teams capable of undertaking emergency response interventions to secure endangered built cultural heritage, and train other colleagues in the country.

Twenty-three professionals working in Aleppo, Damascus, Daraa, Idleb, Deir Al-Zor and Homs participated in this intensive course. Participants discussed several aspects relevant to emergency response to endangered heritage: risk assessment, damage assessment, first aid to cultural heritage, rapid documentation, community engagement and emergency consolidation of damaged monuments and sites.

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ICCROM signs agreement with UNIDROIT

June 17, 2015

ICCROM's DG signing the agreement On 12 June the Director-General signed a framework agreement with the Secretary General of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), Mr José Angelo Estrella Faria.

The UNIDROIT is an independent intergovernmental organization (IGO) founded in 1926 as an auxiliary organ of the League of Nations and re-established in 1940 on the basis of multilateral agreement. It has its seat in Rome since 1928. As of today, UNIDROIT has 63 Member States.   Continue reading…

First Aid to Nepal’s Cultural Heritage

June 15, 2015

From Recovery to Risk Reduction

In an effort to turn the tragedy and loss of the 25 April earthquake into an opportunity to promote the resilience of cultural heritage, ICCROM is currently in Kathmandu carrying out intensive training in partnership with ICOMOS, the Smithsonian Institution and ICOM. This is being done at the request of the the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu and the Department of Archaeology of the Government of Nepal and with the generous support of Prince Claus Fund (The Netherlands).

The objective is to develop a national team of cultural professionals capable of leading the stabilization and security of damaged heritage and continuing First Aid activities in the coming months. The multidisciplinary teaching team consists of structural engineers, a preservation architect, a conservator and a collections conservator.

Photos and captions courtesy of Rohit Jigyasu (ICOMOS-ICORP) and Aparna Tandon (ICCROM). Continue reading…

ICCROM forms an international alliance to assist in Nepal’s cultural recovery

June 5, 2015

Aparna Tandon doing training activities in Nepal

When news of the massive earthquake in Nepal broke out, ICCROM led an initiative to produce the Kathmandu Cultural Emergency Crowdmap, which received extensive on-the-ground reports about damaged heritage. As a result, an overview of the devastation was pulled together immediately and now an international team is in Kathmandu preparing the groundwork for a sustainable salvage operation.

“Through on-site assessments we have been able to see for ourselves how people in Nepal have come forward to salvage and secure their cultural sites, religious shrines and city squares,” says Aparna Tandon, in charge of the cultural disaster risk programme at ICCROM, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. Continue reading…

Nepal Cultural Emergency Report

May 20, 2015

Military taking part in recovery
Photo: Tapash Paul/Drik. April 30, 2015

As the news of a massive earthquake in Nepal broke out, ICCROM, ICOMOS-ICORP and their combined network of heritage professionals joined forces to produce the Kathmandu Cultural Emergency Crowdmap to gather on-the-ground reports on damaged heritage in order to provide a consistent situation overview. The preliminary results have now been summarized into a report available for download.

This initiative was successful in gathering valuable information thanks to the contributions of several institutions namely, the Smithsonian Institution, USA, the Disaster Relief Task Force of the International Council of Museums (ICOM-DRTF) and UNESCO office in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Social media reports of cultural heritage professionals working in Nepal helped in gathering reports of damage to cultural heritage beyond the Kathmandu Valley. In particular the core team of the crowdmap wishes to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of: Dina Bangdel, Randolph Langenbach, Prof. Arun Menon, Tapash Paul, Neelam Pradhananga, Swosti Rajbhandari, Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, Rakshya Rayamajhi, Kai Weise.

Download: Overview Report of the Nepal Cultural Emergency Crowd Map Initiative (PDF, 5MB)

Disclaimer: The contents of this report are based on crowd sourced information and individual reports on damage to cultural sites and collections in Nepal, and which remain to be verified through detailed on-site assessments. Continue reading…

Help us collect information on the Nepal Earthquake

April 29, 2015

A series of devastating earthquakes have struck Nepal over the weekend, causing loss of more than 7000 lives. The initial 7.8 magnitude quake, along with aftershocks as high as 6.7 magnitude, caused destruction and severe damage to the historic centre of Kathmandu and other heritage sites throughout the Kathmandu Valley. Quake-related damage has been reported throughout the region. Continue reading…

Cultural Heritage and Disaster Resilient Communities

The International Expert Meeting, 11-17 March 2015, in Tokyo and Sendai, Japan
The 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Stefano De Caro at the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk ReductionICCROM, in cooperation with UNESCO, the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan (ACA) and the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage (NICH), organized an International Expert Meeting on Cultural Heritage and Disaster Resilient Communities. The meeting was held before and during the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction (the 3rd WCDRR).

Over 50 participants attended the meeting, coming from all regions of the world.

Introducing Cultural Heritage into the Disaster Conversation

In 2005 ICCROM, UNESCO and ACA held a thematic session entitled Cultural Heritage Risk Management at the 2nd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in cooperation with the Ristumeikan University (Japan) and other partners. This would be the first time cultural heritage was discussed within the larger field of disaster risk reduction policy and programmes.

Since that time, much has changed. A World Heritage Strategy on Disaster Risk has been developed, and a number of courses implemented to train professionals. However, despite these developments, cultural heritage is increasingly affected by both natural and human-caused threats. Continue reading…

A busy year begins for the Ecole du Patrimoine Africain

March 13, 2015

The Ecole du Patrimoine Africain (EPA), jointly established by ICCROM and the University of Abomey-Calavi in Porto Novo, has enjoyed a positive start to 2015. On 19 January it welcomed its newest Director, Mr Samuel Kidiba, and on 31 January, it received recognition as a Pan African school during the 24th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa. This continental recognition crowns EPA’s 15-plus years of activity and indicates a new phase of growth for the institution. It will enlarge its area of action and contribute to intercultural exchanges in Africa.

In February, for the first time since the creation of the EPA Fund in 2001, the Management Committee of the Fund organized its 15th meeting at the EPA headquarters. The Committee manages the investments of the EPA Fund, which offers sustainable support to the running costs of the school. The meeting was an opportunity for the Fund’s two financial advisors, Dr. Franco Passacantando, Advisor at the European Investment Bank and former Managing Director for Relations with International Institutions at the Banca d’Italia; and Dr. Marco Ambrogi, Director of the Banca d’Italia Agency in Perugia, to visit EPA and meet the staff. They were also able to see some of EPA’s achievements and visit important cultural sites in Benin: the Jardin des Plantes et de la nature (JPN), the Homné Museum, the mosque and the cathedral in Porto Novo; the museum in Adjara; and the Royal Palace in Abomey. Continue reading…

New Director of EPA

January 21, 2015

Samuel Kidiba, Director of EPAIn December 2014, Mr Samuel Kidiba was elected Director of the Ecole du Patrimoine Africain (EPA – School of African Heritage) by its Board of Directors. He took office on 20 January 2015 for a term of four years. Mr Kidiba is the third Director of EPA since its creation and is the first to come from Central Africa (Republic of the Congo).

A graduate of Cultural Heritage Management from Senghor University in Alexandria, Egypt, Samuel Kidiba has dedicated his career to the conservation and enhancement of African cultural heritage, beginning with his position as Director of the Ecole des peintures de Poto-Poto in Brazzaville (1998-2001). From there he became Director of Cultural Heritage and Development, Director of the National Museum, and Director-General of Heritage and Archives at the Congolese Ministère de la Culture et des Arts. He took care of national policies on the management, protection and promotion of sites (archeological, cultural and natural); departmental museums; national languages; traditional architecture and the ancestral practices of the people of Congo. Over the last 12 years, he has been involved in bilateral and multilateral cooperation and the development of training and management activities for the Ministry’s staff. In parallel to his duties at the Ministry he has continued to teach at the Faculty of Arts and Human Science in the University of Marien Ngouabi in Brazzaville. He is also the coordinator of the Research Group on the Suundi (GRSC), an ethnic group of Congo. Continue reading…