Over 60% of museum collections worldwide are at risk because of overcrowding and poor storage conditions. In this situation, museums cannot ensure the protection of their collections, especially in emergency situations. In addition, with up to 90% of their collections hidden away and unaccessible in storage, museums are missing out this essential resource for connecting with their communities.
Culture cannot wait. Whether it is the rescue of ancient manuscripts or the careful salvage of a destroyed heritage building, affected communities will always strive to protect their cultural heritage following a crisis. But where does one start – especially when conflicts and disasters coincide with a health crisis? Are you interested in learning how to safeguard cultural heritage in complex crises, build resilient communities and promote peace?
Amid the current pandemic, many cultural heritage institutions find themselves vulnerable to the risks of fire, flood, typhoons, earthquakes, and other such hazard events. The threats are however, not just limited to natural hazards, but also include man-made causes like looting, chemical explosions and armed conflicts. Often, heritage professionals are confronted with complex scenarios, where one hazard overlaps with another to create an even larger disaster. Recent examples include the floods in large parts of Asia, which coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak, making it difficult for emergency responders to divert already stretched resources to safeguard heritage collections and sites.
Ritsumeikan University in collaboration with ICCROM established the International Training Course (ITC) on Disaster Risk Management (DRM) of Cultural Heritage in 2006. Since its establishment, we have organized this annual course of the UNESCO Chair Program for 14 years. To date, 152 participants from 62 countries have attended the course. Currently, many of the participants are internationally contributing to the DRM field by utilizing knowledge and skills, which they learned from ITC.
Location: ACCU Nara Office (Nara Pref. Nara General Office, 757 Horen-cho, Nara, Japan) and related research institutions
In the Asia and Pacific region there are various forms of cultural heritage which are of great value from a global point of view. In order to safeguard this important cultural heritage for future generations, it is necessary to train heritage professionals for proper investigation, analysis, and preservation.
Location: China National Silk Museum (NSM), Hangzhou, China
Textiles are over 5000 years old and common to all civilizations, past and present. A rich and diverse living heritage that comprises a multitude of materials, techniques, and shapes. Time is ripe for rethinking how we approach textile conservation. The course will focus on crucial issues of values and significance, research, conservation approaches, and innovative uses of textile collections - within and beyond the heritage sector - for the common good of society. The role of museums in today’s rapidly changing world, with particular emphasis on textile heritage, will be discussed.
The course aims to provide interdisciplinary training on various aspects of disaster risk management of cultural heritage. Drawing upon Japan’s rich experience in this area, the course exposes the participants to specialized measures such as the establishment of a disaster risk management system, and methodologies for pre-disaster measures, disaster response, and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction.
The 2021 Training Course on Impact Assessments for World Heritage will introduce the updated Guidance on Impact Assessment for World Heritage, which has been prepared by the three Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Convention, ICOMOS, ICCROM and IUCN, in partnership with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Therefore, the course will explore how Impact Assessment can be applied to both natural and cultural World Heritage. With the support of the Government of Japan, practical experience will be gained and lessons will be shared during the field assessment of the World Heritage Site of Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region.
Successful interdisciplinary collaboration is essential for meaningful conservation actions. A shared understanding of core principles of the diverse fields involved is the basis on which such collaboration is built. In order to strengthen this crucial capacity in today’s and tomorrow’s heritage professionals, communication and teaching skills must be developed on a continual basis. Nevertheless, conservation education programmes and professional development activities are under pressure to deliver more content in less time.
Japanese paper is internationally recognised as a superior conservation material. It is also the support material used in Japanese artworks found in many collections worldwide. However, outside of Japan, it is difficult to gain in-depth, holistic knowledge and experience in traditional conservation techniques dealing with Japanese paper. The JPC course offers a unique opportunity for overseas professionals to bridge this gap. In addition, it provides opportunities to create links between Japanese and Western paper conservation, and to encourage the application of Japanese conservation approaches, materials and techniques to non-Japanese cultural heritages.