ICCROM supports Myanmar after the earthquake

September 8, 2016

ICCROM supports Myanmar after the earthquakeA 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…

Protecting Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

July 20, 2016

Protecting Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

The economic losses from disasters are now reaching an average of US$250 to US$300 billion each year, according to the Global Assessment Report of 2015 – a resource for analyzing and understanding disaster risk globally, today and in the future. Conflicts are equally devastating – in 2014, 42 500 people were displaced by violence and con­flict every day. (Refer to the  report of the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing Gap) Continue reading…

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

June 2, 2016

The Fifth International Course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis Starts

first_aid_1“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…

ICCROM and Nepal: from response to resilience

April 25, 2016

Nepal - reconstruction of damaged cultural heritage sites “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.

Continue reading…

ICCROM aids post-earthquake recovery of heritage in Nepal

February 19, 2016

Swayambhunath Stupa

Almost ten months after the deadly earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015, people are engaged in rebuilding their lives and property, and life is slowly getting back to normal. At the national museum in Chauni, Nepalese conservators are painstakingly transferring a sacred mural onto a new support. It was lifted from the the Shantipur Shrine on Swayambhu Hill, a World Heritage site. The shrine itself had to be demolished. Plans for its reconstruction are being discussed but conservators have lingering questions about how this mural will eventually be reintegrated.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, an international team put together by ICCROM and its partners had guided the salvage of the mural painting fragments at Shantipur. The alliance between ICCROM, International Council of Museums (ICOM), International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the Smithsonian Institution had resulted in a coordinated damage assessment followed by on-site training for emergency documentation, salvage and stabilization of collections and built heritage. Continue reading…

First Aid to Nepal’s Cultural Heritage

June 15, 2015

From Recovery to Risk Reduction

In an effort to turn the tragedy and loss of the 25 April earthquake into an opportunity to promote the resilience of cultural heritage, ICCROM is currently in Kathmandu carrying out intensive training in partnership with ICOMOS, the Smithsonian Institution and ICOM. This is being done at the request of the the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu and the Department of Archaeology of the Government of Nepal and with the generous support of Prince Claus Fund (The Netherlands).

The objective is to develop a national team of cultural professionals capable of leading the stabilization and security of damaged heritage and continuing First Aid activities in the coming months. The multidisciplinary teaching team consists of structural engineers, a preservation architect, a conservator and a collections conservator.

Photos and captions courtesy of Rohit Jigyasu (ICOMOS-ICORP) and Aparna Tandon (ICCROM). Continue reading…

ICCROM forms an international alliance to assist in Nepal’s cultural recovery

June 5, 2015

Aparna Tandon doing training activities in Nepal

When news of the massive earthquake in Nepal broke out, ICCROM led an initiative to produce the Kathmandu Cultural Emergency Crowdmap, which received extensive on-the-ground reports about damaged heritage. As a result, an overview of the devastation was pulled together immediately and now an international team is in Kathmandu preparing the groundwork for a sustainable salvage operation.

“Through on-site assessments we have been able to see for ourselves how people in Nepal have come forward to salvage and secure their cultural sites, religious shrines and city squares,” says Aparna Tandon, in charge of the cultural disaster risk programme at ICCROM, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. Continue reading…

Nepal Cultural Emergency Report

May 20, 2015

Military taking part in recovery
Photo: Tapash Paul/Drik. April 30, 2015

As the news of a massive earthquake in Nepal broke out, ICCROM, ICOMOS-ICORP and their combined network of heritage professionals joined forces to produce the Kathmandu Cultural Emergency Crowdmap to gather on-the-ground reports on damaged heritage in order to provide a consistent situation overview. The preliminary results have now been summarized into a report available for download.

This initiative was successful in gathering valuable information thanks to the contributions of several institutions namely, the Smithsonian Institution, USA, the Disaster Relief Task Force of the International Council of Museums (ICOM-DRTF) and UNESCO office in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Social media reports of cultural heritage professionals working in Nepal helped in gathering reports of damage to cultural heritage beyond the Kathmandu Valley. In particular the core team of the crowdmap wishes to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of: Dina Bangdel, Randolph Langenbach, Prof. Arun Menon, Tapash Paul, Neelam Pradhananga, Swosti Rajbhandari, Sudarshan Raj Tiwari, Rakshya Rayamajhi, Kai Weise.

Download: Overview Report of the Nepal Cultural Emergency Crowd Map Initiative (PDF, 5MB)

Disclaimer: The contents of this report are based on crowd sourced information and individual reports on damage to cultural sites and collections in Nepal, and which remain to be verified through detailed on-site assessments. Continue reading…

Help us collect information on the Nepal Earthquake

April 29, 2015

A series of devastating earthquakes have struck Nepal over the weekend, causing loss of more than 7000 lives. The initial 7.8 magnitude quake, along with aftershocks as high as 6.7 magnitude, caused destruction and severe damage to the historic centre of Kathmandu and other heritage sites throughout the Kathmandu Valley. Quake-related damage has been reported throughout the region. Continue reading…

Destruction at Mosul Museum

February 27, 2015

UNESCO Director-General Irina BokovaICCROM shares and supports the strong statement of UNESCO’s Director-General, Dr Irina Bokova, condemning the destruction of archaeological heritage as videotaped at the Mosul Museum and at the site of the Nergal Gate by ISIL militants.

Professing deep shock at images of the smashing of statues from the sites of Hatra and Nineveh, Dr Bokova affirmed, “I condemn this as a deliberate attack against Iraq’s millennial history and culture, and as an inflammatory incitement to violence and hatred.”

Calling for an immediate meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss “protection of Iraq’s cultural heritage as an integral element for the country’s security”, Dr Bokova underlined that “this attack is far more than a cultural tragedy – this is also a security issue as it fuels sectarianism, violent extremism and conflict in Iraq.”

The Mosul Museum is the second most important museum in Iraq.  Badly looted in the 2003 Iraq War, it houses priceless artifacts from the region’s 3000 year history.

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