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.
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.
The Southeast Asian region is home to invaluable and significant forms of cultural heritage, ranging from the tangible, such as collections of antiques and objects, ancient monuments, archaeological sites, historic buildings, towns, cities and cultural landscapes, to the intangible, such as customs, relics, music, craftsmanship and traditional lifestyles. In recent years, unpredictable disasters caused by natural hazards, such as flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes, fires and tropical storms have affected the region’s cultural heritage. Human actions such as tourism, economic development and urban expansion are also making a dramatic impact on heritage. These hazards can affect heritage at ...
Location: Dambulla Area, Sri Lanka (Near Golden Temple of Dambulla and Ancient City of Sigiriya World Heritage Sites)
The People, Nature, Culture course aims at contributing towards the new paradigm shift ‘from the care of heritage to that of pursuing the wellbeing of both heritage (natural and cultural) and society as a whole’. The goal is to strengthen understanding of people and communities as a core component of heritage management among those involved in heritage management, thus ensuring that natural and cultural heritage have a dynamic and mutually beneficial role in society today and long into the future. This stems from an increasing recognition that heritage places are cared for, used and enjoyed by a vast array of people. Contributions to management, conservation and use of a heritage place come from a variety of sources, but primarily from heritage-sector practitioners, policy-makers within institutions, and representatives of communities and networks. Working with all these groups can be essential for ensuring that benefits are gained for society and for the heritage itself.