ICCROM at the inauguration ceremony of Iran’s President

August 18, 2017

ICCROM at the inauguration ceremony of Iran’s PresidentOn 5 August, the Director-General of ICCROM, Dr Stefano De Caro, had the honour to attend the inauguration ceremony of Hassan Rouhani for his second term as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. De Caro’s attendance came at the invitation of the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, through its Embassy in Rome.

“Iran presents an impressive wealth of cultural heritage in terms of magnificent mosques and monuments, historic cities, archaeological sites and a rich and varied culture. I am well aware of the remarkable efforts Iran makes to preserve and share its heritage,” said De Caro on the event. “I congratulate President Rouhani on his re-election and his commitment to openness and international dialogue.” Continue reading…

World Heritage Leadership Project signed with IUCN

September 7, 2016

World Heritage Leadership Project signed with IUCN

ICCROM has signed a six-year partnership project – World Heritage Leadership – with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, United States.  Made possible with generous funding from Norway, the partnership project marks new steps to improve nature-culture conservation practice carried out through the World Heritage Convention, and aims to support the contribution of World Heritage sites to sustainable development.

World Heritage Leadership aims to build the skills of practitioners working through the World Heritage Convention.  It takes into account the totality of conservation practice, so that World Heritage can provide leadership to achieve innovation and excellence within the conservation sector. This focus beyond World Heritage marks a new approach to the long-standing partnership between ICCROM and IUCN, two advisory bodies on cultural and natural World Heritage respectively. Continue reading…

Sculpture Exhibit – Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Japan

July 27, 2016

Visit coincides with first-time exhibit in Italy, “Masterworks of Japanese Buddhist Sculpture”


Stefano De Caro, ICCROM’s Director-General, has received the visit of Mr Ryohei Miyata, Commissioner for Cultural Affairs at the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sport, Science and Culture. The aim of their meeting is to strengthen the longstanding collaboration and partnership between Japan and ICCROM. Japan has been a Member State of ICCROM since 1967 and is the second largest contributor to the organization.

On the occasion of the meeting, Dr De Caro said, “It is a pleasure to reaffirm the collaboration with our Japanese colleagues at the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan. The relationship with Japan is vital for ICCROM, as it enables and supports a wide range of activities, both internationally and regionally. The upcoming International courses and workshops on Conservation of Japanese Paper (JPC) and on Nature-Culture Linkages in Heritage Conservation, and the Regional Course on Archaeological Sites and Remains, all to be held in Japan this September, are just a few examples of the strong support ICCROM receives from Member State Japan.”

Continue reading…

Cultural heritage: building a future of peace

June 28, 2016

Stefano De Caro: “Conservation of cultural heritage is important to building a future of peace”

Stefano De CaroThis year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of ICCROM.  In 1956, a mere 11 years after World War II and while many European cities still lay in ruins, the Ninth Session of the UNESCO General Conference in New Delhi decided to create the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM). However, the seed idea for an international entity devoted to heritage conservation is much older. Already in in the 1930s, there was a lively global debate between scholars, scientists, restorers and conservators in which the worlds of science, museums and arts exchanged ideas on how to safeguard humanity’s common cultural treasures. Continue reading…

Seminar: Cultural Heritage and Development Initiatives

May 19, 2016

A Challenge or a contribution to sustainability

Cultural Heritage and Development InitiativesFrom 25 to 27 May, an international seminar entitled “Cultural Heritage and Development Initiatives: a challenge or a contribution to sustainability?” was held at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome.  The seminar focuses on the relationship between archaeology, landscape protection and development initiatives.  It is organized by UNESCO together with the World Bank and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

ICCROM’s Director-General, Dr Stefano De Caro, spoke at the seminar, and also moderated a panel entitled “Cultural Heritage as a vector for sustainable development.” The seminar featured a range of speakers and international experts who discussed ways to balance modernization efforts with the preservation of cultural values. Continue reading…

Culture in Crisis Forum at Yale University

May 4, 2016

Culture in Crisis Forum at Yale University

Dr Stefano De Caro, ICCROM’s Director-General, participated in the eighth Global Colloquium of University Presidents, hosted by Yale University and President Peter Salovey on 12-13 April 2016.  He also took part in the Culture in Crisis satellite event convened on 11 April.

The Culture in Crisis event was led by Dr Stefan Simon, Director of Yale University’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH) and former ICCROM Council Member. The event gathered stakeholders and decision-makers to discuss present-day dangers to cultural heritage, especially as regards the current dramatic situation in the Middle East and North Africa region, but also in sub-Saharan Africa and worldwide. Continue reading…

Cultural heritage more important than ever: Director-General’s message

November 12, 2015

Portrait of Stefano De Caro, Director-General , 2015 Dear members and friends of the ICCROM community,

It is particularly challenging in these times to find words of encouragement for the conservation world. News arrives day after day from Syria, news of ongoing destruction of millennial monuments – glorious remnants of past civilizations – or of the brutal killings of scholars, such as Khaled al-Asaad, who dedicate their lives to caring for this heritage.

This has been another difficult year for the Arab region, with attacks on cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq, in Yemen and Libya, and in Tunisia with the assault at the Bardo Museum. At the same time, all around the world, living heritage is disappearing from cities and rural areas emptied out by conflicts, war and poverty, feeding an exodus of migrants and refugees that we see on television every day, together with the accompanying tragedies, the reactions of fear, selfishness, racism.

And yet, in this scenario of foreboding, many European cities have witnessed an unexpected and growing movement of solidarity, going beyond even the hopes of its inspirers from both religious and secular worlds, and opening up societies at first reluctant to welcome these people on the move. Continue reading…

ICCROM and United Arab Emirates sign Headquarters Agreement

October 28, 2015

On 27 October 2015, ICCROM and the Government of the United Arab Emirates signed a Headquarters Agreement which lays the foundation for the establishment and operation of the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE. This agreement confers upon the Centre its legal status, enabling it to execute its functions and achieve its objectives as an intergovernmental institution in the UAE. From its location in Sharjah, ICCROM-ATHAR will pursue ICCROM’s objectives with respect to the conservation of cultural heritage in the Arab region, facilitating the protection of endangered cultural heritage in the region.

Signing the Agreement on behalf of the UAE was Dr Addelrahman Al Awadi, Assistant Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs, while Dr Stefano De Caro, ICCROM’s Director-General, signed on behalf of ICCROM. Present at the signing were Dr Zaki Aslan, Director of ICCROM-ATHAR; Dr Mohammed Khamis Al Muhairi, Director-General of the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities; Mr Abdul Aziz Al Mussalam, Head of Sharjah Heritage Institute; Ms Manal Ataya, Director-General of Sharjah Museums Department; Mr Sadiq Mohammed Abu Sneineh, Legal Adviser; and Mr Issa Saif bin Handal, representing the Office of H.H. Ruler of Sharjah.

The Headquarters Agreement stipulates the immunities and privileges granted to the regional Centre. It also reinforces the ongoing cooperation between the Government of UAE and ICCROM in the implementation of national capacity building and training. Continue reading…

The Power of Ruins

October 26, 2015

Rovine. Rovine. La forza delle rovineLa forza delle rovine” (“Ruins: the power of ruins”), is the title of a wonderful exhibition that has recently opened at Palazzo Altemps, Roman National Museums. Curated by Marcello Barbanera, who also edited the exhibition catalogue (Electa, 2015) with Alessandra Capodiferro, the exhibition portrays the fascination aroused by physical remains of past civilization, whether sculpture, architecture, inscriptions, fragments or ruins, in almost all cultures throughout the centuries. This subject certainly deserves the attention of professionals and all those interested in cultural heritage conservation.

Continue reading…

An urgent and firm response to the destruction of heritage in Syria and Iraq

Hatra-thumbThe Italian association Incontro di Civiltà has drafted an appeal to counter the destruction of cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq and to support its preservation and restoration.

The appeal is the result of considerable reflection which has brought together scholars, archaeologists, legal experts and cultural representatives in order to arrive at a set of challenging, but achievable proposals that will place Italy at the front lines.

Stefano De Caro, ICCROM Director-General has signed the appeal on behalf of the organization. The document cites ICCROM in its capacity to train technical staff, conservators and custodians in prevention and first aid interventions, and as a point of reference regarding educational programmes for heritage and culture aimed at refugees.

Read the appeal in English

Read the appeal in Italian

The appeal was presented to UNESCO, which has in turn committed to supporting the initiative through its #Unite4Heritage campaign. In the meantime, UNESCO has also approved the proposal put forth by the Italian government to have the United Nation’s Blue Helmets protect heritage sites around the world from attacks by militants.

Incontro di Civiltà is headed by Francesco Rutelli, former mayor of Rome and former Minister of Culture. It promotes initiatives to raise awareness among international decision makers on the catastrophic effects that terrorism is having on culture and identity. Continue reading…