Saving and Reconstructing Heritage

January 10, 2017

Saving and Reconstructing Heritage

Press release

THURSDAY 19 to SATURDAY 21 JANUARY 2017 – SPECIAL EVENT AT THE LOUVRE-LENS MUSEUM

Roundtable on Post-Conflict Reconstruction of Historic Cities
Aleppo, the Omeyyad Mosque, 2013 ©UNESCO / Ron Van Oers

Saving and Reconstructing Heritage

At a time when significant archaeological treasures in the Middle East are threatened by tragic current events, the Louvre-Lens Museum is hosting a special event from 19 – 21 January on the theme of endangered heritage.  Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Louvre Museum, will give a lecture on protecting cultural heritage in areas affected by armed conflict. Marie Lavandier, Director of the Louvre-Lens Museum and President of the ICCROM Council, will lead an international symposium on post-conflict reconstruction of historic cities.

This special event is being organized in partnership with ICCROM, through its ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre located in the United Arab Emirates, and the Institut du monde arabe in Tourcoing, France. It is part of the programming for the Louvre-Lens exhibition ‘History Begins in Mesopotamia,’ currently running until 23 January.

PROGRAMME DETAILS

Thursday 19 January, 6pm

Lecture

PROTECTING HERITAGE

By Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Louvre Museum and commissioner of the exhibit “From Bamiyan to Palmyra: A Journey to the Heart of Universal Heritage” at the Grand Palais in Paris, until 9 January 2017.

With the escalation of armed conflict in the Middle East, heritage is now at the heart of political, ideological and cultural identity issues in the region. Certain factions in these armed conflicts intentionally destroy historic sites and monuments in order to obliterate the past and the memory of minority groups, thereby striking at the morale of their adversaries.

France, a country that has been heavily involved in archaeological research in the Middle East, will do all it can to preserve the cultural heritage targeted by such terrorist groups.

Jean-Luc Martinez is the author of a report submitted to the President of France in November 2015 on heritage protection in areas of armed conflict. Since then, France has been actively involved in this area, with five key goals – to provide an example through its own heritage protection practices, to mobilize the international community, to fight illicit traffic of antiquities, to preserve and promote the memory of destroyed sites, and to strengthen inter-museum cooperation so as to protect collections and disseminate knowledge and know-how.

The Louvre Museum is fully engaged in the implementation of the key recommendations from this report. During the lecture, Jean-Luc Martinez will present the actions already carried out by the Louvre within its sphere of competence. These include offering training courses in France for Syrian and Iraqi specialists, coordinating site excavation activity, organizing exhibitions to inform the general public, and participating in a network of sites for temporary storage of endangered artworks.

The lecture will be followed by a screening of the documentary film ‘Mesopotamia: voyage dans la mémoire du monde’ by Fulvia Alberti and Baudouin Koenig (Hikari Films, 2016).

Admission: 5 € / 3 €.

Information and booking:  +33 (0)3 21 18 62 62.

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Friday 20 – Saturday 21 January

International symposium

Palmyra, Temple of Bel © DR
Palmyra, Temple of Bel © DR

POST-CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION OF HISTORIC CITIES 

This symposium, based on first-hand regional and international experiences, is organized in partnership with ICCROM through its ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in the United Arab Emirates.  It provides an opportunity for participants to discuss approaches towards heritage reconstruction by comparing examples from different time periods and regions. Reconstruction, reconstitution or recovery of a destroyed heritage asset poses technical, scientific, and methodological questions, together with ethical, economic and political ones.

The first day will introduce various viewpoints on post-conflict reconstruction, along with the work of international organizations. Case studies from Europe and the Middle East will be presented to illustrate and support the views presented.  A round-table at the end of the day will summarize the debates.

The second day, devoted to professionals, will focus on the role of development agencies in reconstruction processes and strategy development for areas emerging from armed conflict.

The event will bring together specialists from international organizations including the European Commission, the World Bank, UNESCO, ICOMOS, ALECSO, IRCICA and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, as well as representatives from several governments and universities in France, Europe and the Middle East.

Admission free of charge, advance registration required.

Information and booking: +33 (0)3 21 18 62 62

Conference agenda

Friday 20 January: What lessons can we draw from the past?

  • Session 1: Thoughts on post-conflict reconstruction
  • Session 2: Implementation by international organizations
  • Session 3: European case studies
  • Session 4: Middle Eastern case studies
  • Round table: Summary of the day’s events

Saturday 21 January: The role of development agencies

 

PARTNERS FOR THIS SPECIAL EVENT

 

The Louvre-Lens Museum
Discover a different face of the Louvre, deep in the heart of a former mining community in Northern France, an area designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Housed in a contemporary building of glass and light, the Galerie du temps provides a unique visitor experience. More than 200 masterpieces from the Louvre’s collections take you on a journey through time and space, from the invention of writing in Mesopotamia in the 4th millennium before the modern era, through to the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century. Every year, temporary exhibitions of international scope make it possible to display works from around the world. Currently, and up to 23 January, the museum is presenting an exhibition event devoted to Mesopotamia. From 22 March, the Louvre-Lens will be celebrating the Le Nain brothers, three of the most fascinating 17th century French painters, as talented as they were mysterious.

www.louvrelens.fr

 

ICCROM
The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage worldwide through training, information, research, cooperation and advocacy programmes. It aims to enhance the field of conservation-restoration and raise awareness to the importance and fragility of cultural heritage.

In 2014, with generous support from the Government of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, ICCROM opened a regional conservation centre in Sharjah: the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre, devoted to the material, architectural and archaeological heritage of the Arab world.

The goal of the ICCROM-ATHAR Centre is to protect cultural heritage while increasing access to, appreciation and understanding of its history. A key objective is to increase the capacity of national heritage institutions in the region to manage sites and museum collections sustainably.

www.iccrom.org / www.athar-centre.org

 

Institut du monde arabe – Tourcoing
The Institut du monde arabe (Arab World Institute) – Tourcoing was inaugurated on 17 November 2016 in a former swimming school in the town of Tourcoing, France.  Its mission is to promote the culture of the Arab world and foster dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean by means of exhibitions, concerts, conferences and educational activities throughout the Hauts-de-France region.

This initiative, unique in France, brings together the active support of the Hauts-de-France region, the European metropolis of Lille, the towns of Tourcoing and Roubaix, and the Institut du monde arabe as part of a public interest group.

www.ima-tourcoing.fr

PRESS CONTACTS

 

Regional and Belgian press

Bruno Cappelle
Musée du Louvre-Lens
Tel: +33 (0)3 21 18 62 13
bruno.cappelle@louvrelens.fr

National press

Alexis Grégorat
Agence Claudine Colin Communication
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 72 60 01 / +33 (0)6 45 03 16 89
alexis@claudinecolin.com

International press

Paul Arenson
ICCROM
Tel: +39 340 862 1843
media@iccrom.org

See also

Full press release

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