Activity in Focus

Enhancing the Social and Cultural Role of Community Museums in Western Sudan

ICCROM, through its ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, received from the Cultural Protection Fund of the British Council a GBP 997 000 project grant to conserve three community museums in Western Sudan. This project has worked to restore the museums and provide for the educational and cultural needs of their communities, visitors and tourists.

As part of the Community Museums of Western Sudan project, ICCROM-Sharjah held a series of practical training workshops, held 17 September to 17 October at the Khalifa House Museum in Omdurman, which raised local Sudanese expertise and competencies in the fields of preservation and documentation of historical buildings and museum collections. Four workshops focused on conservation of the museum holdings overall, especially its collections of flint stones and traditional weapons, as well as the architectural conservation of the building envelope.

The next series of workshops was titled “Enhancing the Social and Cultural Role of Community Museums,” held between 17 and 26 November at different museums. The first workshop was held in the city of El-Obeid for the Sheikan Museum. Darfur Museum in the city of Nyala was the second location. Participants at the third workshop met again in the Khalifa House Museum in Omdurman, Khartoum. The workshops involved outreach and engagement with groups interested in the museums’ collections, including groups that preserve and transmit Sudanese living heritage.

Decades of conflict in Sudan have devastated communities, damaged heritage facilities and led to a loss of heritage skills. By revitalizing these three community museums and providing training in heritage skills, we are ensuring that the museums are protected and their collections remain valuable educational tools. Part of the training is the development of a five-year conservation management plan for each museum.

The project is funded by the British Council's Cultural Protection Fund in partnership with the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Project partners include the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums in Sudan (NCAM), the Centre for Heritage Studies, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge and Mallinson Architects.

The British Council's £30m Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, is committed to safeguarding cultural heritage at risk due to conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.



PHOTO: Courtyard at Khalifa House Museum, Omdurman, Sudan. © National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums