In the immediate aftermath of a large scale emergency, the top priority is to save lives and restore communication and access to vital resources. Depending on the scale of the emergency, civil protection plays a pivotal role in the coordination of an emergency response.
Given their role as emergency responders, is it possible for national civil protection authorities to extend their roles to include the coordination of safeguarding cultural heritage during an emergency?
The Italian Department of Civil Protection, or Protezione Civile, believes so. It has worked to secure and salvage cultural heritage affected during most of the emergencies affecting the country over the past 20 years, including the 2016-2017 earthquakes in Central Italy.
Building upon this experience, the Italian Department of Civil Protection invited ICCROM to co-host a six-day course, Specialized Training Course on the Protection of Cultural Heritage with PROMEDHE (Protecting Mediterranean Cultural Heritage During Disasters), in an initiative for the integration of the protection of cultural heritage in the Mediterranean region during emergency situations. Continue reading…
Supported by: Japanese National Institutes for Cultural Heritage (NICH)
Sub theme of ITC2017
Towards Integrated Protection of Immovable and Movable Cultural Heritage from Disasters
Cultural heritage is increasingly exposed to disasters caused by natural and human-induced hazards such as earthquakes, floods, fires, terrorism etc. Recent examples include Earthquakes in Central Italy and Myanmar in 2016, the Nepal earthquake in 2015, the Balkan floods in 2014 and ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen. These disasters not only affect the immovable heritage components such as monuments, archaeological sites and historic urban areas but also cause damage to the movable components that include museum collections and heritage objects that are in active use, such as religious and other artefacts of significance to the local community. Continue reading…
A violent 6.8 earthquake hit central Myanmar on 24 August 2016, killing at least four people and damaging the archaeological site of Bagan. Once the capital city of the historical Pagan Kingdom, the site of Bagan contains more than 2500 Buddhist monuments built from the 10th to 14th centuries, including temples, stupas and monasteries.
The site of Bagan is actively used for religious and cultural purposes. The monuments are greatly venerated by the population, and large numbers of pilgrims visit the site from all over Myanmar, particularly at festival times. More than 300 temples contain highly significant mural paintings. In addition, Bagan is a main focus for Myanmar’s growing tourist industry. Continue reading…
The Fifth International Course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis Starts
“I would like to prepare for recovery and reconstruction of Mosul’s cultural heritage,” says Layla Salih, an Iraqi participant of the Fifth International Course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAC) which opened today at the Smithsonian Castle, Washington DC, USA. Offered within the framework of ICCROM’s multi-partner programme on Disaster Risk Management, the FAC course is aimed at enhancing national, regional and local capacities for protecting cultural heritage during complex and protracted crises. Continue reading…
“Nepal’s resilience stems from its unique cultural heritage,” said Stefano De Caro, Director-General of ICCROM, as he honoured the memory of victims on the anniversary of the Gorkha earthquake which devastated a large part of the country on 25 April 2015, one year ago.
One month after the earthquake, ICCROM formed an international alliance of partners including ICOMOS-ICORP, ICOM, Smithsonian Institution and Prince Claus Fund to assist the Department of Archaeology and UNESCO Kathmandu Office in assessing damage and enhancing its capacity for stabilizing over 600 cultural sites and collections.
Over a twelve-month period, from October 2015 to October 2016, six museums and galleries from the Atlantic region of Canada have been working on a storage reorganization project to improve access to their collections as part of the Canadian Conservation Institute’s (CCI) RE-ORG: Canada Program. These museums, which are using the new RE-ORG Museum’s Workbook (available soon), are all located in the provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
ICCROM is pleased to welcome Serena Petrella from Italy. She will be with us as an intern until the end of April.
Serena Emanuela Petrella holds a Master in Architecture from the University of Catania, Italy (SDS-Siracusa). Since completing her studies, she has worked in architectural preservation and restoration. Currently, she lives in Paris where she is collaborating on an incoming issue of Storia Urbana magazine about post-war reconstruction in France. Relevant previous experiences include the participation in the research team for the post-seismic reconstruction plan of Fossa, a minor historical centre damaged by earthquake of 2009, as well as in a project funded by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage devoted to seismic vulnerability assessment of national museums. These works have led to lectures, publications and awards, such as the International Prize ‘Leonardo Paterna Baldizzi’ of ‘Accademia dei Lincei‘ in June 2014.
The first 2016 RE-ORG project has started in India at the Assam State Museum, running from 29 February to 11 March 2016.
This project is the fourth one organized in India, the result of collaboration between the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Assam, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and ICCROM. The RE-ORG Assam project is part of the campaign launched by Sh. Preetom Saikia, Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of Assam, Cultural Affairs Department, with the goal of improving the state of museum storage in Assam. The project offers a great opportunity to strengthen the network of professionals who can support and spread the RE-ORG methodology, so as to improve museum storage and collections preservation practices in India and make museum collections available to the wider community.
The importance and variety of the Assam State Museum collections (stone sculptures, various weapons, utensils, old royal garments, coins, age-old metal sculptures, painting, stones and copper-plate inscriptions) make them a unique and perfect case study for the workshop. Sixteen participants from the principal Assam museums are currently implementing the RE-ORG methodology. During the first week of the workshop, they moved more than 2,400 objects and created four different storage units dedicated to archaeological objects, ethnographic objects, paintings and natural history specimens.
The ICCROM Archive has contributed to a fascinating exhibition being presented on three floors of the Archaeological Museum of Mantua, one made up of original images, documents, movies, and testimonials.
The aim of the exhibition is to share powerful and meaningful images of heritage that should a point of pride – yet that is so often damaged by wars such as the one in Syria, as well as from earthquakes, floods and all those sudden events that impose the ravages of time with such ferocity. How can we forget the 1966 Florence flood, and the army of so-called “Mud Angels”, those volunteers who heeded the call to safeguard the city’s heritage? Or destruction brought about by humans, which has proven to be just as destructive as damage from natural causes? Then there is the destruction inherited from the wars of the past. Continue reading…