|| International Course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Conflict (FAC 11)
13 October. The second week, which focused on institutional response to conflict, opened our eyes to new perspectives. By looking at how the humanitarian sector and militaries operate, we were able to integrate new elements into our "First Aider to Cultural Heritage toolkit". These were combined with other tools to improve the management of cultural property in times of conflict, such as the 1954 UNESCO Hague Convention, international humanitarian laws, and the Blue Shield Network.
Despite our interest in these disciplines, we believe that this week's highlights were the presentations by our colleagues. Nine participants presented their experiences and the work they are doing in their various countries. This immersed us in different contexts and difficulties, and made us conscious of the different options and solutions one can use to resolve issues.
We found the lecture on humanitarian aid mechanisms given by Marco Rotelli, Secretary-General of the Italian non-governmental organization INTERSOS, to be especially interesting. The process of humanitarian assistance was covered in very clearly, starting from situation analysis to the actual intervention, and the monitoring of the results. We understood in which part of this process we could potentially insert the protection of cultural heritage and how.
Another highlight of the week was the introduction to mediation and negotiation in cultural heritage contexts by Govinda Clayton from the University of Kent, United Kingdom. Working in small groups, we acted as real policy makers within the context of a two-sided conflict. The negotiations were at times very difficult, but made they us aware of the tactics and strategies we can employ to manage the interests and priorities of opposing parties in order to establish common agreements.
We also wish to mention the contributions from Corine Wegener of the US Committee of the Blue Shield, Stéphane Théfo from INTERPOL, and Captain Massimiliano Quagliarella from the Carabinieri Cultural Heritage Protection Unit. These presentations were very helpful to understand cultural property protection from a perspective that was unfamiliar for most of us. Week Two was about discovering and understanding the different actors and mechanisms at play in crisis situations. We look forward to the practical work next week!
Laura Berdejo and Hülya Yüceer
FAC 11 participants
Inspired by what they learned in the first course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Conflict in 2010, three former participants created an accessible and open blog to promote dialogue and cooperation between cultural heritage professionals and other actors and stakeholders involved in conflict areas. It is hoped that it will become a tool for researchers and professionals to share information and resources, as well as a platform for enhancing awareness in heritage protection issues.
Member States represented: Afghanistan, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, Italy, Kenya, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Senegal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Turkey.
17 October, 2011