||ATHAR Regional Course on Conservation of Organic Materials in Heritage Sites and Collections Concludes
20 May. An intensive three-week specialist regional course on 'Conservation of Organic Materials in Heritage Sites and Collections' concluded its first phase at a session at Bait Al Naboodah, in the Sharjah's heritage area, on 15 May.
The course, held under the patronage of H.H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Sharjah, was in line with the framework the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2008 between the Emirate of Sharjah and the International Centre for the Study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) to implement the activities of the ATHAR Programme for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Arab Region.
It was organised by ICCROM through its recently established Regional Centre in Sharjah, UAE, in partnership with the Government of Sharjah (represented by the Sharjah Museums Department, the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information, the American University of Sharjah, and the University of Sharjah), and ALECSO (the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation), with the support of the UAE's National Council for Tourism and Antiquities. Representatives from these institutions attended the closing session for the course, where participants were presented with achievement certificates and course results for the end of the first phase.
This course was aimed at building the capacity of conservation professionals in the Arab Region in the field of Cultural Heritage conservation and development, with a specific focus on organic materials - including wood and timber constructions, paper, manuscripts and textiles - found in built heritage and museum collections.
The closing was attended by Mr Abdullah Al-Oweis, chairman of culture and information of Sharjah, Mr Mohammad Khamis bun Hareb Al Muhairi, Director-General of Tourism and Antiquities of the UAE, Ms Manal Ataya, Director-General of the Sharjah Museums Department, as well as senior officials from the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), Dubai Municipality, the University of Sharjah and the American University of Sharjah, the Juma Al Majid Centre for Cultural Heritage, and the newly-established Sharjah Academy of Science.
The 23 participants who attended the course included site managers, archaeologists, architects, engineers, museum specialists and collections curators from nine Arab countries. The UAE participants were from various government institutions working in the field of cultural heritage in Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Dubai, Sharjah, and from the Federal Government. Experts who took part in presenting the course came from as far afield as Brazil, Finland, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, Norway, Pakistan, Syria, the UAE, and the UK.
Course units included 'Introduction and setting the scene in the context of the heritage of the UAE and Sharjah'; 'Understanding materials, their characteristics and deterioration'; 'Assessment and decision-making: Risk management and intervention strategies'; and 'Putting it into Practice'.
After concluding this first phase of the course, participants discussed practical projects that they will pursue in their own countries during phase 2 of the course, together with the course instructors. These projects will aim for practical improvements in each participant's working context and specific professional responsibilities. The course will conclude with a Review Meeting planned next October.
Member States represented: Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Yemen.
31 May, 2011