Fourth ICCROM-CHA Annual Forum concluded in Beijing

January 10, 2017

Fourth ICCROM-CHA Annual Forum concluded in BeijingThe fourth ICCROM-CHA Annual Forum concluded on 9 December 2016 at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The Annual Forum has been organized since 2013, with the collaboration and financial support of the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) of Korea.

The objectives of the Annual Forum are to explore, research, and debate key themes emerging from the Asian region that have implications for effective conservation and management of heritage.  These debates should result in formulation of policy guidance notes and/or principles related to the above themes, for improved and effective conservation and management of heritage. The Forum is also expected to contribute to capacity-building efforts in the region. 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…

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…

Traditional Knowledge Systems

January 6, 2016

Third Annual Forum on the Applicability and Adaptability of Traditional Knowledge Systems in Conservation and Management of Heritage in Asia

Traditional knowledge and its applicability to cultural heritage preservation is increasingly gaining recognition in light of global discourse on sustainable development, climate change, disasters and resilience. In reflection of this worldwide shift, the World Heritage Committee has included the use of traditional knowledge systems for site management within its Operational Guidelines. The natural heritage sector is also very engaged in related activities, and in Africa, institutions have already begun compiling information from various areas of the continent.

Asia is rich in time-tested practices, and the inclusion of these systems into discussions about heritage is timely. Traditional management systems have the power to make a significant impact on the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the region. For example, ancient practices can help curb carbon emissions when maintaining a heritage place, and the continuation or revival of traditional crafts not only ensures that knowledge is passed down through generations, but that artisans can make a stable living. Continue reading…

Cultural Heritage Protection in the Asia-Pacific Region 2015

September 28, 2015

Group photo, ACCU 2015The course on ‘Cultural Heritage Protection in the Asia-Pacific Region 2015: Preservation and Restoration of Wooden Structures’, was launched on 1 September at the ACCU Cultural Heritage Protection Cooperation Office in Nara, Japan and will continue until 1 October 2015.


This course is jointly (biannually) organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan (Bunkacho); the Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU); ICCROM; and the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (Tokyo and Nara), in cooperation with the Japanese Association for Conservation of Architectural Monuments (JACAM); the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage (JCIC-Heritage); the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO; the Nara Prefecture Government; and the Nara Municipal Government.

15 participants from 15 countries within the Asia-Pacific Region are participating in the course.

Member States represented: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Lao P.D.R., Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines,  Viet Nam, and Japan

Non-Member States: Bhutan, Fiji, Indonesia, Samoa and Uzbekistan

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…