First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

March 27, 2015

30 March – 24 April 2015, Netherlands

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

Is it possible to save cultural heritage from the intentional targeting that we are witnessing in Syria and Iraq? In the aftermath of large-scale natural disasters such as Cyclone Pam, how can cultural heritage be recovered quickly and effectively?

Over the next four weeks, 21 professionals from risk-prone areas such as Gaza, Guatemala, Haiti, Philippines, Syria and Ukraine will convene in Amsterdam to participate in the international course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis, jointly organized by ICCROM, the Smithsonian Institution, the Netherlands National Commission of UNESCO, and 11 national institutions including the Netherlands Ministries of Culture and Education.

This is the fourth international course on First Aid, organized within the framework of ICCROM’s multi-partner programme on disaster risk management.

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis aims to equip proactive cultural “first aiders” with the necessary skills and knowledge to work with communities and other mainstream emergency actors to protect cultural heritage amidst an unfolding crisis situation.

“Culture cannot wait, the credo of the First Aid training stems from the idea that for communities uprooted by disasters, culture in its both tangible and intangible forms, provides a thread of continuity and helps in overcoming the trauma of loss and displacement, therefore, it cannot be separated from humanitarian assistance”, says Aparna Tandon, the course leader and ICCROM Project Specialist. Continue reading…


CollAsia Course on Handling, Packing and Moving Collections Ends

February 20, 2015

Group photo with the ICCROM and CollAsia flags, taken from above

The CollAsia international course on Handling, Packing and Moving Collections came to a close in Kuching, Malaysia. Organized by ICCROM and the Sarawak Museum Department, with the support of the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA), the CollAsia activity aimed to improve scientific literacy and critical thinking skills among the diverse professionals caring for Southeast Asian heritage collections.

The training activity brought together over 40 heritage specialists from 21 different countries in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Through lectures and interactive sessions, participants explored the scientific principles underlying past and present systems, materials and work practices, as well as the manufacture, use and conservation of collections.

Participants were encouraged to share the traditional collections conservation practices in their countries during the Conference Day held on 16 January. Study visits were organized to Sarawak Cultural Village and the Bidayuh longhouse of Kampung Benuk, to learn and draw new ideas for research from the rich living heritage of the local communities around Kuching. Continue reading…


Workshop on Managing Risks to Cultural Heritage

February 6, 2015

ICCROM ATHAR logoA two-week specialist workshop on “Building National Capacities for Managing Risks to Cultural Heritage in Case of Emergency” concluded in Cairo, Egypt, on 29 January 2015. The workshop was co-organized by ICCROM through its recently-established ATHAR Regional Centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, the UNESCO Office in Cairo, the Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and Ministry of Culture, and with the support of the Government of Sharjah, UAE, and the US Secretary of State. The closing ceremony was attended by Dr Stefano De Caro, Director-General of ICCROM, and HE Dr Mamdouh Damati, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, who handed-out course certificates to the participants. Also present were: Ms Faika Bejaoui representing ALECSO, Ms Tamar Teneishvili and Dr Nazar Hassan from the UNESCO Office in Cairo, and Dr Zaki Aslan, Director of the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah Continue reading…


Update from the CollAsia course in Sarawak, Malaysia

January 21, 2015

Handling, Packing and Moving Collections
Sarawak Museum Department, Kuching, Malaysia

Logo-CollAsia-1CollAsia has brought together a diverse set of professionals with a combined work experience that makes for valuable exchanges and discussions. Caring for cultural heritage is at the heart of the work of participants and the course team, but different working roles, resources and cultural contexts give rise to unique challenges and solutions, which everyone can learn from.

On 16 January the course hosted a conference at the Natural History Museum, Sarawak History Department. It was attended by almost 50 museum professionals representing over 20 local and international institutions working with the conservation of cultural heritage. Presentations were given by course participants, course team members, Sarawak Museum staff, as well as the Director-General of ICCROM and the Sarawak Museum Department.

Participants have also had the chance to visit cultural centres in the area, such as the Tun Jugah Foundation and the Sarawak Cultural Village. Continue reading…


CollAsia Course on Handling, Packing and Moving Collections

January 14, 2015

12 – 30 January 2015, Sarawak Museum Department, Kuching, Malaysia

Logo-CollAsia-1

With over 40 specialists from Asia-Pacific and beyond, the CollAsia international course on Handling, Packing and Moving Collections is taking place 12 – 30 January 2015 in the Natural History Museum, Sarawak Museum Department, Kuching, Malaysia.

Organized by the Sarawak Museum Department and ICCROM, with the support of the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA), the course aims to improve scientific literacy and critical thinking skills among the diverse professionals caring for Southeast Asian heritage collections.

The course focuses on scientific principles underlying past and present systems for managing museum objects, materials and work practices, as well as the manufacture, use and conservation of collections. Participants are encouraged to share traditional collections conservation practices used in their countries. The course identifies, reviews, discusses and compares living cultural practices and current conservation principles and approaches relevant to the theme of the course. It also encourages further research into developing innovative solutions.

The intensive training activity consists of lectures and interactive sessions, both in the classroom and around Sarawak, with practical exercises. Continue reading…


Paper Conservation in Latin America: Meeting with the East

November 14, 2014

course inaugurationWith the goal of exchanging experiences and knowledge in the conservation of paper cultural heritage, the National Coordination of Cultural Heritage Conservation (CNCPC) and ICCROM, through its regional program for Latin America and the Caribbean, LATAM, inaugurated on 5 November the “International Paper Conservation Course in Latin America: Meeting with the East.”

This is the third time that the course has been conducted in Mexico with the participation of specialists from Latin America and Japan. It is an initiative of the Manager of the Graphic Documents Workshop at CNCPC, Marie Vander Meeren, who took the course offered by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo Japan, led by researcher Masato Kato, and brought to fruition the proposal to bring the course to the American continent. Continue reading…


Conservation of Sounds and Images Course Takes Place in Mexico

Group photoWith the participation of 16 sound and image conservation specialists from various parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, the SOIMA (Sound and Image Collections Conservation) course began on 3 November in the Paul Coremans auditorium of the National Coordination for Cultural Heritage Conservation (CNCPC). The course works towards a common approach and awareness for the preservation of audio, photo and video archives in analogue and digital format.

This programme was launched in 2007 by ICCROM, with the goal of increasing the know-how of specialists, who will then spread awareness in their countries on digital preservation. It is the first time that this course is taught in Spanish, particularly targeting Latin Americans. Continue reading…


RE-ORG International in Canada and Southeast Europe

October 21, 2014

RE-Org International 2014 Southeast Europe team (top) and Canada team (bottom)Over the next year, 21 museums led by the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) and the Central Institute for Conservation in Belgrade (CIK) will reorganize their storage to ensure better conservation and the access to their collections. The project-based training initiatives are using the RE-ORG storage reorganization methodology created by ICCROM and UNESCO and available for free online.

The projects will include workshops and distance mentoring using a new online training platform developed by ICCROM and its partners to facilitate the use of the RE-ORG resource.

RE-ORG: Canada, a national initiative is organized by CCI in collaboration with the Ontario Museums Association and the Museums Assistance Program (MAP). Six museums selected across the province of Ontario are participating. Future editions of RE-ORG: Canada, will take place in other provinces.

RE-ORG: SEE is a regional initiative for Southeast Europe, organized by CIK and the Regional Alliance of ICOM for South East Europe – ICOM SEE, with the support of the Serbian Ministry of Culture, ICOM and the Annenberg Foundation. Fifteen museums from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia are participating. Continue reading…


Rescuing Endangered Cultural Heritage in the Arab Region

October 9, 2014

Planning meeting takes place with international and regional organizations

group photo of meeting in Cairo for First Aid planningOn 29 and 30 September, ICCROM-ATHAR, UNESCO and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) held a meeting in Cairo to form national and regional teams for the safeguarding of endangered cultural heritage in the region. This meeting gathered representatives from Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan and Syria, who reported on risks to heritage in their countries, in addition to the local and national initiatives taken in this context.

The meeting discussed possible solutions for the ongoing crises, and decisions were made to implement regional courses to build capacity in risk management and the protection of cultural heritage in times of emergency. Continue reading…


Cultural Heritage Protection in the Asia-Pacific Region

September 19, 2014

The course, Cultural Heritage Protection in the Asia-Pacific Region: Research, Analysis and Preservation of Archaeological Sites and Remains, was launched on 2 September in Nara, Japan and will continue until 3 October 2014.

Group photo of participants of the course

The month-long course is organized by ACCU Nara, in partnership with ICCROM and the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. Since 2000, the course has been held on alternating years with the aim of building the capacities of professionals who have been working on cultural heritage protection in the region. This course is focused on investigation, conservation and management of archaeological sites and remains and seeks to provide participants with the latest methodologies and technologies. Continue reading…