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News: June 2010

ATHAR workshop on professional training in conservation in the Arab world, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
1 - 3 June 2010

4 June. The Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) hosted the third ATHAR workshop entitled 'ATHARnet: Education and Practice' at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum.  This three-day workshop aimed to enhance the relationship between conservation curricula and practice in the Arab region, and arrive at a clear definition and recognition of the needs for training in conservation there.

The workshop addressed one of the core areas of the ATHAR Programme related to professional development in heritage conservation and management. Specifically, the aim was to resolve issues related to the recognition of qualifications and the definition of the professional profiles required for responding to regional needs. It also hoped to consolidate the work of professional institutions and practitioners in the Arab region. It should result in an action plan to be taken forward by participating institutions.

Over the three days, the participants reviewed the tangible results achieved to date, definitions of conservation professions, re-examined key specialized areas in the various fields of conservation in the Arab context, re-defined the scope of existing training programmes in the region, mapped focal areas of participating institutions, and developed an action plan for participants to pursue.

Mr Abdullah Al-Owais, Chairman of Sharjah Department of Culture and Information was present at the event and expressed the sentiment that, “the Arab region must not only have continuous training and education, but must also seek to increase the number of professional institutions and frameworks to foster professional talent that can contribute to overall development.”

Manal Ataya, Director-General of SMD stated, “There is a strong need for an improved relationship between professional education and practice in the realm of cultural heritage conservation. This workshop underlines how thorough collaborative effort, cultural professionals whom have recognised the gaps in the field of practice and education can bring forth recommendations to make a positive difference.”

This workshop took place under the patronage of H.H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. It was implemented by ICCROM as part the ATHAR Programme, in partnership with the Government of Sharjah, H.H. the Ruler’s Office, Sharjah Department of Information and Culture, American University of Sharjah, the University of Sharjah, and Sharjah Museums Department.

Participants came from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Additional representatives came from UNESCO, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), and the European Confederation of Conservator-Restorers' Organisations (ECCO).

Member States represented: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen

updated on: 15 June, 2010