First Aid for Cultural Heritage Design Workshop

October 20, 2017

Designing for Change: International Workshop on First Aid for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

16-20th October 2017

 logos - First Aid for Cultural Heritage Design Workshop

FAC_thumbOn 16-20 October, ICCROM hosted a design workshop on First Aid for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAC), organized in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, USA and the Prince Claus Fund, the Netherlands. Other partner institutions participating include UNESCO, CRAterre (France), Italian Civil Protection, and Ritsumeikan University (Japan).

The design workshop aimed to review the existing First Aid international training, and identify content as well as activities for developing a self sustainable and effective network of cultural first aiders. Using the human centred design approach, the workshop drew on the diverse experiences of former participants, practitioners, and key resource people to:

  1. refine the topics and modes of delivery of the existing First Aid training,
  2. identify contents and teaching strategies for training of trainers,
  3. agree on activities and institutional pre-arrangements for developing a sustainable and functional network of cultural first aiders over the next three years.

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First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Ukraine

December 17, 2015

Opishne, Ukraine, 23-25 November 2015


FAC_Ukraine_posterThe National Museum of Ukranian Pottery in Opishne recently hosted a workshop on “First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis: International Strategies for Ukraine”, an event inspired by the ICCROM First Aid (FAC) course held earlier this spring in Amsterdam in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO and several local collaborators.

Using the FAC methodology and curriculum, the three-day event in Ukraine was created in response to the country’s multiple challenges and threats. The Maidan civil movement and armed conflict in eastern Ukraine have endangered hundreds of museums and heritage places. As a result, there is a crucial need to strengthen knowledge on various aspects of disaster risk management in order to devise strategies and plans to reduce risks of damage to cultural heritage. It is also vital that international policies and efforts are integrated into national and local practices and capacities are built so that communities are more resilient and able to take action in a crisis situation. Continue reading…

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis 2016

November 10, 2015


workshop participantsIs it possible to safeguard cultural heritage while humanitarian aid and security operations are underway? When is the right time to intervene? How could we ensure that cultural recovery becomes a force for stabilization and building back better? The training on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis aims to equip participants with necessary skills and knowledge to provide timely response in emergency situations. The deadline for applications for the 2016 international course, First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis  in Washington DC has been extended to Monday, November 23. If you are concerned with the protection of cultural heritage from disasters and work for a cultural or humanitarian institution, the FAC 2016 course team heartily encourages you to apply!

Participants of FAC 2016 will be trained in careful emergency preparedness, and will engage in practical exercises that cultivate good decision-making skills, which are directly applicable towards protecting their cultural heritage throughout an unfolding crisis. The organizers- ICCROM and Smithsonian are recognized leaders in both heritage protection and disaster response and offer scalable and sustainable solutions to all types of heritage protection professionals and believe that immersive and focused courses yield more competent “first aiders”. Instilling a consistent and routine practice of readiness in anyone charged with safeguarding cultural heritage is the most effective means of preventing its destruction. Are you prepared? Continue reading…

Course Announcements

October 13, 2015

ICCROM courses are an opportunity to enhance knowledge and skills in the various themes we cover. They are also a source of inspiration for participants who go back to their home countries and institutions infused with new energy.

This fall, we are accepting applications for the following courses:

The course will focus on the scientific principles underlying the past and present systems, materials and work practices, and the use and conservation of collections.

Group photo with the ICCROM and CollAsia flags, taken from above

Many different types of professionals respond to an unfolding crisis. This course provides strategies for interlocking culture specialists with humanitarian specialists during an emergency situation and aims to unify these sometimes conflicting perspectives.

Taken during emergency simulation

First Aid and Risk Preparedness for Cultural Heritage in Libya

June 29, 2015

Building national capacities

field exercisesThe ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre, in cooperation with the UNESCO Office in Cairo, held a course on Building National Capacities for Libyan Professionals in First Aid and Risk Preparedness for Cultural Heritage in Djerba, Tunisia from 12 to 15 June 2015.

The aim of this course was to train cultural heritage professionals in Libya to undertake preventive and first aid interventions in times of crisis for risk reduction and protection of cultural heritage. It included twenty-two participants from various professional backgrounds (archaeologists, engineers and curators), coming from such Libyan cities as Tripoli, Labdah, Cyrene, Benghazi, Fezzan and Sabrathah.

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First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Syria

June 22, 2015

Beirut, Lebanon, 1-10 June 2015

group photo of Syrian First AidersIn efforts to provide support to cultural heritage professionals in Syria, the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Centre recently joined forces with UNESCO and the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage – Bahrain (ARC-WH) to hold a course in Beirut, Lebanon, on First Aid to Built Cultural Heritage for Syrian professionals.

The aim was to establish national teams capable of undertaking emergency response interventions to secure endangered built cultural heritage, and train other colleagues in the country.

Twenty-three professionals working in Aleppo, Damascus, Daraa, Idleb, Deir Al-Zor and Homs participated in this intensive course. Participants discussed several aspects relevant to emergency response to endangered heritage: risk assessment, damage assessment, first aid to cultural heritage, rapid documentation, community engagement and emergency consolidation of damaged monuments and sites.

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Protecting heritage amidst an unfolding crisis

May 6, 2015

Course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis comes to a close on 30 April in Amsterdam, Netherlands

A group of 20 cultural heritage professionals – archaeologists, archivists, and architects – arrived on the scene to assess the damage to a World Heritage Site. Tensions between the two countries that border the site had escalated into a violent protest and a bomb blast had gone off directly next to the historic structure. Artifacts of all kinds were scattered under rubble and ash.

These professionals needed to negotiate with the military commander in charge of securing the site, and work in tandem with the medical professionals who were still clearing injured people from the area. After dividing the work, the “cultural first aiders” had to immediately take inventory of the found objects, document, and create a temporary storage plan, all under pressure that forecasted rains might further damage, and potentially flood, the site.

This setting is actually not the scene from current events, and the World Heritage Site is not one of the ones recently affected by the disasters seen in Iraq, Mali, and even most recently, Nepal. These cultural first-aiders were actually responding to a hypothetical scenario given to them at the culmination of the First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crises (FAC) training, held at Fort Markenbinnen, outside Amsterdam, Netherlands. Under the guidance of several trainers from the partnership of three cultural organizations: ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO, and the Smithsonian Institution, this fictional scenario helped to address the question many people in the cultural heritage field ask: what can I do in the event of a crisis to protect my cultural heritage? Continue reading…

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

March 27, 2015

30 March – 24 April 2015, Netherlands

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

Is it possible to save cultural heritage from the intentional targeting that we are witnessing in Syria and Iraq? In the aftermath of large-scale natural disasters such as Cyclone Pam, how can cultural heritage be recovered quickly and effectively?

Over the next four weeks, 21 professionals from risk-prone areas such as Gaza, Guatemala, Haiti, Philippines, Syria and Ukraine will convene in Amsterdam to participate in the international course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis, jointly organized by ICCROM, the Smithsonian Institution, the Netherlands National Commission of UNESCO, and 11 national institutions including the Netherlands Ministries of Culture and Education.

This is the fourth international course on First Aid, organized within the framework of ICCROM’s multi-partner programme on disaster risk management.

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis aims to equip proactive cultural “first aiders” with the necessary skills and knowledge to work with communities and other mainstream emergency actors to protect cultural heritage amidst an unfolding crisis situation.

“Culture cannot wait, the credo of the First Aid training stems from the idea that for communities uprooted by disasters, culture in its both tangible and intangible forms, provides a thread of continuity and helps in overcoming the trauma of loss and displacement, therefore, it cannot be separated from humanitarian assistance”, says Aparna Tandon, the course leader and ICCROM Project Specialist. Continue reading…

Workshop on Managing Risks to Cultural Heritage

February 6, 2015

ICCROM ATHAR logoA two-week specialist workshop on “Building National Capacities for Managing Risks to Cultural Heritage in Case of Emergency” concluded in Cairo, Egypt, on 29 January 2015. The workshop was co-organized by ICCROM through its recently-established ATHAR Regional Centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, the UNESCO Office in Cairo, the Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and Ministry of Culture, and with the support of the Government of Sharjah, UAE, and the US Secretary of State. The closing ceremony was attended by Dr Stefano De Caro, Director-General of ICCROM, and HE Dr Mamdouh Damati, Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, who handed-out course certificates to the participants. Also present were: Ms Faika Bejaoui representing ALECSO, Ms Tamar Teneishvili and Dr Nazar Hassan from the UNESCO Office in Cairo, and Dr Zaki Aslan, Director of the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah Continue reading…