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ATHAR Programme - Course on Conservation of Stone and Earthen Structures: Traditional Bonding Materials in Masonry and Conservation of Damp Buildings and Sites

Under the patronage of H.H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi

Dates: 30 September – 29 October 2009

Place: Sharjah,  United Arab Emirates


Background and aims
The 'Conservation of Stone and Earthen Structures: Traditional Bonding Materials in Masonry, Conservation of Damp Buildings and Sites' course of the ATHAR Programme aims at establishing and developing professional qualifications and at building the capacity of conservation professionals in the Arab Region and in the field of Cultural Heritage conservation and development with a specific focus to traditional materials in masonry and the conservation of damp buildings. The overall goal of the programme is to protect and promote the rich cultural heritage in the Arab region, and broaden access, appreciation and understanding of its past and present.

This is a specialised course that follows ICCROM’s core regional courses that have taken place over the last years. Attendance on the foundation course is a prerequisite for attendance on the specialised course. Endorsing institutions should note that applicants are expected to complete the full cycle of all three courses.

The total duration of the course is of four weeks: 'Bonding Materials' first 2 weeks, followed by the course on 'Damp Buildings & Sites' the next 2 weeks.

Objectives and Expected Results
By the end of the course, participants will have:

  • Familiarized with the traditional materials in masonry and earthen structures used in the region acknowledging their strengths and weaknesses;
  • Identified priorities for appropriate conservation and treatment interventions of masonry and earthen architecture;
  • Understood the mechanical, chemical & electrolytic processes involved;
  • Comprehended the why and how buildings get wet;
  • Recognised the methods for the identification of traditional means of water protection;
  • Identified the appropriate treatments of dampness taking into considerations the advantages and disadvantages of each (at micro and macro level).

The course is intended for 20–25 participants with varied profiles (site managers, conservators, archaeologists, architects, planners, tourism development experts, etc.) from the Arab countries who have participated in the previous ICCROM Core Regional Courses. Their admission to the course will be subject to selection criteria including:

  • Professional background: at least a BA in a relevant field of study.
  • Letter of intent: candidates are requested to provide a letter stating clearly the reasons for applying to the course, what they hope to learn from it, and how it will benefit them and their institution, country, or future employer.
  • Employment: priority is given to government employees or government-affiliated professionals.
  • Work experience: those who have already gained at least 3 years practical and research experience in the field will have priority.
  • Financial resources/support: a request for financial support, or the availability of other sources, should be indicated in the application form. The organizing institutions will provide financial support only upon request (subject to evaluation), to cover accommodation, meals and travel to Sharjah during the course.
  • Insurance: all participants should also have health and accident insurance. Upon selection, they should return to ICCROM a signed medical and accident participant's release form.
  • Working languages: the working languages will be both Arabic and English. Proficiency in English will be required particularly for research work and reading of reference materials.
  • Applications: please use the application form available on this website. Applications should be endorsed by the relevant ministry (Ministry of Culture or Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities) in the candidate’s home country. The completed forms should be sent to the following address:

ATHAR Programme
Via di San Michele, 13
00153 Rome
Email: athar (at) iccrom . org

Application deadline: 20 May 2009

The main partner institutions will make the final selection of applicants according to these requirements. A certificate of attendance will be given to those participants who will successfully complete the course cycle, of one foundation course and two specialized courses envisaged in 2009.


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