On 14 December, the official inauguration of the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, took place in the presence of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. In attendance from ICCROM were the Director-General, the President of the ICCROM Council, Council Members from Arab states, and other members of staff who have been instrumental in providing training through the ATHAR programme.
As the Director-General pointed out in his inaugural speech, this is the first ICCROM office to be located outside of Rome, and it is an experiment which has so far yielded considerable success. The ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Centre has the responsibility of achieving results in a variety of ways: it will maintain the high standard of training for which ICCROM is famed; it will develop programmes addressing issues particular to the Arab world; and at the same time will keep the international spirit of ICCROM, which views heritage as a common treasure of humankind and its conservation as both a duty for future generations and a tool for dialogue and peace to be enjoyed in its rich diversity. This is increasingly important in the current climate of division and conflict.
The Director-General thanked His Highness for generously financing the creation of this Centre, as well as the inauguration guests which included representatives from national and international organizations, the members of Council present, and the Council President Marie Lavandier. A special thank-you was also given to the Director of the Centre, Zaki Aslan and his dedicated staff in Sharjah, who have produced excellent results, and he expressed his warmest wishes for their future work.
- Ruler of Sharjah opens Sharjah Heritage Institute (Emirates News Agency)
- Sultan opens Heritage Institute (The Gulf Today)