The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), through its Regional Office in Sharjah, UAE (ICCROM-Sharjah) joins efforts with the INTERPOL (the International Criminal Police Organization), in organizing an international training course on ‘First Aid to Cultural Heritage for Preventing Illicit Trafficking in Times of Crisis’. The course has financial support from the Government of Sharjah and the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, and it is taking place at ICCROM-Sharjah Premises in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, from 8th to 19th December 2019.
This two-week training course aims at building the capacity of specialized police units to protect cultural heritage properties from the risk of further damage and looting during emergency situations. It will also focus on various preventive measures that can be undertaken to reduce the risk of illicit trafficking during normal times.
Dr. Zaki Aslan, Regional Director of ICCROM-Sharjah says “In light of the increasing number of international crimes related to the looting and trafficking of cultural heritage and cultural properties, particularly in emergency situations, there is an urgent need to integrate cultural heritage first aid methods within existing humanitarian services provided by the police specialized units and other civil defense agencies at the national and local levels. This, of course, should take place in close cooperation with cultural institutions.”
25 representatives of national police authorities from Europe, South America, Africa, Asia, and the Arab Region will be trained on various topics including assessment, salvage, evacuation and storage of cultural heritage artefacts. They will gain skills that would enable them to assess the damage, coordinate multi-sectoral first response and rescue initiatives in case of an emergency, and soft skills such as communication and negotiation. The course will also benefit from the on-site experience of specialized law enforcement units from various countries.