Protecting Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

July 20, 2016

Protecting Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

The economic losses from disasters are now reaching an average of US$250 to US$300 billion each year, according to the Global Assessment Report of 2015 – a resource for analyzing and understanding disaster risk globally, today and in the future. Conflicts are equally devastating – in 2014, 42 500 people were displaced by violence and con­flict every day. (Refer to the  report of the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing Gap) Continue reading…

Rapid Assessment for Mural Paintings at Risk in Bagan, Myanmar

June 27, 2016

Workshop starts in Bagan, Myanmar

Rapid assessment for Mural Paintings at Risk: Workshop starts in Bagan, MyanmarA ten-day ICCROM workshop on “Rapid assessment methods for mural paintings in Bagan, Myanmar” (21 June – 01 July 2016) has recently started. The workshop began with a brief review of the achievements and progress made since the previous ICCROM workshop undertaken in Bagan in June 2014.

The sheer scale of the site of Bagan, which is renowned for its extraordinary wealth of heritage, presents a number of key conservation challenges. With more than 2 500 temples and monuments containing exquisite but highly vulnerable wall paintings and decorative stucco, a simple and fast method is needed to establish the site’s conservation priorities through rapid and efficient assessment of the level of damage and vulnerability of the temples and their mural paintings. Continue reading…

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

June 2, 2016

The Fifth International Course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis Starts

first_aid_1“I would like to prepare for recovery and reconstruction of Mosul’s cultural heritage,” says Layla Salih, an Iraqi participant of the Fifth International Course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAC) which opened today at the Smithsonian Castle, Washington DC, USA.  Offered within the framework of ICCROM’s multi-partner programme on Disaster Risk Management, the FAC course is aimed at enhancing national, regional and local capacities for protecting cultural heritage during complex and protracted crises. Continue reading…

Conservation of Built Heritage Course (CBH16) closes

May 6, 2016

International Course on Conservation of Built HeritageOn Friday 29 April, the sixth international course on Conservation of Built Heritage came to successful conclusion with a ceremony that took place at ICCROM.  On this occasion, the participants were presented with their certificates.

Over eight weeks, 17 participants from 17 countries made ICCROM their home. They exchanged diverse experiences and worked together to broaden their perspectives and gain new knowledge in the world of built heritage conservation and management. Over 30 resource persons from ICCROM and from different parts of the world were involved in teaching and sharing their experiences through intensive weeks of lectures, group work, discussions and site visits. Continue reading…

CollAsia 2016 – Southeast Asian Collections

March 21, 2016

Group photo - CollAsiaThe International CollAsia Course on Conservation and Use of Southeast Asian Collections took place in Bandung, Indonesia, 8 – 26 February 2016.

A group of 34 professionals from the region shared unique experiences exploring the interdependence of conservation and use of collections, and changes in materials and values over time.  The importance of teamwork and work planning were presented as key issues to improve critical thinking, thereby fighting the tendency to rely on assumptions while practicing the conservation and education professions.

Activities included formal lectures, brainstorming sessions, hands-on practical sessions, interviews with museum staff, visits to local institutions and traditional workshops, participant presentations and film club sessions.

Among the main topics, the group learnt about the materiality of objects, the 10 agents of deterioration and the vulnerability of collections, as well as all the challenges related to the value and use of collections.  A series of course team presentations stimulated the group to discuss risks to collections, and the challenges of categorizing the vulnerability of different objects.  The effects of light, relative humidity and water were explored in depth and experienced through specific exercises.

Various case studies on the values and stories behind objects helped participants understand the fundamental questions of “why we conserve” and “how we conserve.”  The study visit to the Giri Harja Jelekong Workshop, Bandung, West Java, where participants learned about the conservation and use of traditional Indonesian puppets, facilitated discussions about the interdependence between conservation and use.

Elephas - Museum GeologiThe replica of an “Elephas” exhibited as a visitor’s focal point in the main hall of the Museum Geologi also served as new case study for group discussions. Issues related to the planning of moving, packing and unpacking collections provided a concrete platform to address the challenges of teamwork.
Continue reading…

The 6th Course on Conservation of Built Heritage starts

March 10, 2016

CBH16 posterICCROM is pleased to announce the commencement of the sixth course on Conservation of Built Heritage (CBH16) on 4 March 2016 in Rome.  The course will last until 29 April 2016.

The course has been further improved based on experiences from the last five versions (CBH07, CBH09, CBH10, CBH12 and CBH14). This eight-week course intends to provide a broad understanding of both technical and management aspects of conservation and management of heritage by:

  • improving understanding of critical processes in conservation so as to apply them at the macro and micro levels;
  • improving strategic planning skills relevant to conservation and management of heritage;
  • expanding understanding and awareness of current thinking, principles and practices in the conservation and management of built heritage.

The course is comprised of six modules:

  • Module one – Issues in Heritage Conservation (General Overview), analyzing the development of conservation concepts, evolving nature of the discourse and expanding definitions of heritage;
  • Module two – Management and Planning Context, discussing the management systems, planning for conservation and management of heritage;
  • Module three – Information and Documentation, exploring principles, methods and tools of documentation and information management;
  • Module four – Condition Assessments/Treatments (1), providing different approaches, understanding of materials and the application of science, specifically examining the effects on fabric, surfaces and structures and possible treatments and interventions;
  • Module five – Condition Assessments/Treatments (2), also dealing with condition assessments and treatments at the scale of buildings, sites, archaeological sites and city centres, including various aspects of authenticity and maintenance of the cultural heritage;
  • Module six – Public Access/Interpretation, looking at issues of Interpretation, Presentation, Education and Visitor Management. Continue reading…

ICCROM aids post-earthquake recovery of heritage in Nepal

February 19, 2016

Swayambhunath Stupa

Almost ten months after the deadly earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015, people are engaged in rebuilding their lives and property, and life is slowly getting back to normal. At the national museum in Chauni, Nepalese conservators are painstakingly transferring a sacred mural onto a new support. It was lifted from the the Shantipur Shrine on Swayambhu Hill, a World Heritage site. The shrine itself had to be demolished. Plans for its reconstruction are being discussed but conservators have lingering questions about how this mural will eventually be reintegrated.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, an international team put together by ICCROM and its partners had guided the salvage of the mural painting fragments at Shantipur. The alliance between ICCROM, International Council of Museums (ICOM), International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the Smithsonian Institution had resulted in a coordinated damage assessment followed by on-site training for emergency documentation, salvage and stabilization of collections and built heritage. Continue reading…

Conservation and Use of Southeast Asian Collections

February 17, 2016

On February 8th the CollAsia course on Conservation and Use of Southeast Asian Collections began in Bandung, Indonesia. The training activity, organized in collaboration with the Bandung Geological Museum and the Geological Agency of Indonesia, Ministry for Energy and Mineral Resources, with the support of the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA), brought together 34 conservation professionals from 18 countries. They will spend three weeks exploring the challenges of conserving and using collections.

The activity was inaugurated at the Geological Agency Auditorium, with a grand traditional Indonesian ceremony offered by the Geological Agency and presented by the Head of Bandung Geological Museum, Mr Oman Abdurahman, the Vice Minister of Tourism and the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO. Continue reading…

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Ukraine

December 17, 2015

Opishne, Ukraine, 23-25 November 2015


FAC_Ukraine_posterThe National Museum of Ukranian Pottery in Opishne recently hosted a workshop on “First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis: International Strategies for Ukraine”, an event inspired by the ICCROM First Aid (FAC) course held earlier this spring in Amsterdam in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO and several local collaborators.

Using the FAC methodology and curriculum, the three-day event in Ukraine was created in response to the country’s multiple challenges and threats. The Maidan civil movement and armed conflict in eastern Ukraine have endangered hundreds of museums and heritage places. As a result, there is a crucial need to strengthen knowledge on various aspects of disaster risk management in order to devise strategies and plans to reduce risks of damage to cultural heritage. It is also vital that international policies and efforts are integrated into national and local practices and capacities are built so that communities are more resilient and able to take action in a crisis situation. Continue reading…

ICCROM holds a Training of Trainers Course for Heritage in Libya and Yemen

November 10, 2015

ICCROM holds a Training of Trainers Course on Risk Preparedness and Management for Movable and Immovable Cultural Heritage in Libya and Yemen

Group photo

The ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre organised, in collaboration with the UNESCO Cairo Office and the Institute National du Patrimoine in Tunisia, an activity titled “Training of Trainers: Preventive Conservation and Risk Preparedness for Movable and Immovable Cultural Heritage”. This seven-day course took place in Tunis, Tunisia, from 29 October to 5 November 2015.

Building on ICCROM’s previous experience in providing capacity building in the area of preventive conservation, risk mitigation, documentation and first aid to cultural heritage, especially in emergency situations, this course aimed at enhancing professionals’ ability to cope with emergencies by effectively managing threats to cultural heritage. This was a follow-up activity to the ICCROM-ATHAR Building Risk Preparedness and Management of National Capacities for Libyan Professionals course which took place in Djerba, Tunisia, from 9 to 15 June 2015. Continue reading…