The month of April began with a mission to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (3-5 April), where the Director-General, Stefano De Caro participated in the inauguration of the annual Sharjah Heritage Days, a carnival dedicated to the local cultural heritage and traditions.
Throughout the month of April, Stefano De Caro has received several visitors at ICCROM and attended a number of meetings. These include a meeting with Dr Masanori Aoyagi, Director of the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo; and a meeting with Dr Claudio Bocci, Director of Institutional Relations at Federculture, an association of Italian businesses in the culture sector, in addition to the following:
- Meeting of the “Tempus IV” project with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (MiBAC), on CHTMBAL – Network for Post Graduate Masters in Cultural Heritage and Tourism Management in Balkan Countries (12 April).
- Inauguration of an exhibition, “I regni immaginari” at Palazzo Massimo in Rome. This event was also attended by Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Republic of Italy, and Her Majesty Margrethe II, the Queen of Denmark, whose artistry in découpage depicting Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans, is the focus of the exhibition (13 April).
- Meeting on "Il complesso di San Francesco a Ripa - Storia e conservazione", held at the Biblioteca delle Arti in the San Michele Monumental Complex, down the road from ICCROM. Afterwards, he attended a lecture on the excavations at the World Heritage site of Butrint, led by Dr Richard Hodges, President of the Butrint Foundation and President elect of the American University of Rome (18 April).
Following this series of meetings in Rome, the Director-General traveled to Yerevan, Armenia (20-23 April) to attend the opening ceremony for the proclamation of Yerevan as World Book Capital for 2012. During his stay he took the opportunity to hold meetings with various Armenian authorities, including the Minister of Culture.
From 26-29 April he was invited by the Fondazione Romualdo del Bianco – Life Beyond Tourism of Florence and by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan to attend the Baku ICOMOS Conference on "Heritage under Pressure". He also met with high officials of the Ministry of Culture to explore areas of collaboration.
The Director-General received several visitors during the month of May and took part in a number of activities, including the welcoming of a group of School Children that came to the ICCROM laboratory to learn about conservation, an interview for a Turkish documentary, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) of the Republic of Korea.
In addition, he took part in several meeting and missions external to ICCROM which included:
- Participation in the Plenary Session of the Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP) of the Council of Europe, that took place in Strasbourg, France (14-16 May).
- Accompanying a group of donors affiliated with the Getty to Naples, on a visit to the Naples National Archaeological Museum and excavations at the archeological site of Pausilypon (20 May).
From 21-23 May the Director-General returned to Sharjah to attend a symposium on Protection of Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis. This is the first major activity attributed to the ATHAR Centre, a newly-established regional institution created by the ICCROM ATHAR Programme.
This mission was followed by a one to Athens, Greece (23-26 May), where the Director-General attended the Conference "From past experience to new approaches and synergies: the future of protection management for archaeological heritage in times of economic crisis", hosted in the New Acropolis Museum. The Conference was organized by Hellenic ICOMOS and ICAHM on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and of the 50th anniversary of the Venice Charter.
The month ended with two book presentations. The first on 29 May was on the volume Sustainable City and Creativity - Promoting Creative Urban Initiatives, edited by Luigi Fusco Girard, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy, Tüzin Baycan, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey and Peter Nijkamp, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands (published by Ashgate). The second on 30 May for Dall'immagine alla Storia, a volume published in memory of Stefania Adamo Muscettola and edited by Carlo Gasparri, Giovanna Greco and Raffaella Pierobon Benoit.
13 June, 2012