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ICCROM Courses

ATHAR Programme - Management and Conservation of Cultural Heritage: Sites and Museum Collections

Announcement in Arabic

Under the patronage of H.H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates.

Dates: 11 November 13 December 2012

Place: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates with a one week excursion to Doha, Qatar


Background and aims
The Regional Course on Management and Conservation of Cultural Heritage: Sites and Museum Collections, is a foundation course of the ATHAR Programme. It aims at introducing professionals working in the Arab Region to the field of conservation and management of built heritage and museum collections. This foundation course provides basic knowledge for professionals who wish to develop their knowledge in specialized cultural heritage fields including heritage documentation, presentation and interpretation, preventive conservation of cultural heritage materials, management of heritage places, cultural tourism, and risk preparedness. It is a pre-requisite for ATHAR Programme’s specialized courses which will be offered in 2012-2013.

Course objectives and expected results
The course will provide participants with an understanding of the range of issues that affect the preservation of cultural heritage, with the aim of enhancing understanding of how to inform decisions that ensure the protection of sites and museum collections. The course is designed to provide, through interactive, participatory sessions, theoretical and practical experience in both classroom and field settings.

By the end of the course, participants will have acquired a critical approach to the Management and Conservation of Cultural Heritage of Sites and Museum Collections by focusing on:

  • understanding conservation in the context of broader heritage management issues such as tourism, site presentation and development pressures, and assessing legal and institutional contexts;
  • becoming familiar with the basic (international) principles of heritage conservation processes in order to devise informed conservation strategies for heritage sites and museum collections;
  • assessing conditions within the different types of materials in historic buildings and museum collections, and developing strategies for achieving appropriate conditions for heritage materials and collections; and,
  • exploring conceptual and practical tools of risk and management assessments, and the principles of surveying and monitoring collections as well as historic structures in their environment.

The course will take place in Sharjah, UAE and Doha, Qatar. The first week will be in Doha after which the participants will fly to Sharjah for the rest of the course. The study visits and applied work at selected archaeological sites and museums aim to complement the classroom work. The following topics will be covered:

  • concepts of documentation and information gathering, recording and heritage information management;
  • processes and causes of deterioration and methods for condition assessment;
  • introduction to conservation theory and related philosophical and international aspects of protection, with particular reference to the Arab region;
  • conservation methods for historic materials: preventive and remedial conservation measures;
  • management and planning focusing on significance, value-based and risk management processes, presentation and development, national legal and institutional frameworks.

Participants and admission
The course is intended for 20-25 participants with varied profiles (archaeologists, architects, art historians, collections and site or museum managers, conservators-restorers, conservation scientists, curators, directors of museums, galleries and archives, etc.) from the Arab States. Admission to the course will be subject to selection criteria including:

  1. Professional background: at least a BA in a relevant field of study.
  2. 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.
  3. Employment: priority is given to government employees or government-affiliated professionals.
  4. Work experience: those who have already gained at least 3 years of practical and research experience in the field will have priority.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Applications: please use the application form available on this web site. Applications should be endorsed by the relevant ministry (Ministry of Culture or Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities) in the candidate’s home country. The carefully completed forms should be sent to the following address:

PO Box: 39939, Sharjah
United Arab Emirates
Email: athar-centre (at) iccrom . org

Course fee: € 900 Euro (see point 5 above)

Application deadline: 15 September 2012  

Please note that any applications received after this deadline will not be considered in the selection process of candidates for this course.

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 all course phases.