#CultureCannotWait - First Aid for Cultural Heritage training in the Netherlands
17 May 2018
In a crisis situation, when there is a natural disaster or violent conflict, the Red Cross is on the scene to rescue and protect people. ICCROM and the Prince Claus Fund, together with its partners the Smithsonian Institution and the Netherlands Commission for UNESCO, can also quickly respond, helping people rescue and protect their cultural heritage.
In this European Year for Cultural Heritage, an international course ‘First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis’ will be organized to train professionals from all over the world in the protection of cultural heritage. The course, which will take place in Brabant, the Netherlands, from 6 to 24 August 2018, includes modules on prevention, safe evacuation, stabilization and protection of cultural heritage at risk.
Twenty-four conservators, archaeologists and archivists from all over the world will take part, together with emergency and humanitarian assistance workers including aid coordinators and military officials. At the end of the course, trainees will apply their skills in a large-scale disaster simulation exercise on 22 August 2018.
A multiplier effect
‘First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis’ (FAC) prepares culture sector professionals and emergency responders to safeguard heritage when disaster strikes. This simple, field-tested methodology strengthens local capacities to protect heritage before, during and after a crisis event, and in large-scale, complex emergencies. Cultural First Aiders work alongside communities, civil defence, military and humanitarian sectors, securing together the places, objects and traditions that unite people and promote social recovery.
The first international FAC course was organized in 2010 by ICCROM and the Italian culture ministry MIBACT. Since then, multi-partner international FAC training courses have been given in Amsterdam, Rome and Washington DC, while regional courses have been offered in multiple locations across the globe. Trainees are always urged to pass on their knowledge by organizing local courses.
The initiative includes capacity building, disaster risk management planning, emergency deployment, multilingual resource materials and a growing community of cultural First Aiders in more than 70 countries, ready to share knowledge and lend support. These cultural First Aiders form the core of a growing international network of professionals who are equipped to respond when a natural or manmade disaster threatens to destroy irreplaceable cultural heritage.
The 2018 FAC training has been organized by the Prince Claus Fund, ICCROM, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Netherlands Commission for UNESCO, as well as local and national partners: the Province of North Brabant, Brabant Heritage, and the municipalities of Breda and ’s Hertogenbosch.
ICCROM works with 136 Member States to ensure the best tools, knowledge, skills and enabling environment to preserve cultural heritage in all its forms, for the benefit of all people. www.iccrom.org
About the Prince Claus Fund
The Prince Claus Fund supports, connects and celebrates artists and cultural practitioners where cultural expression is under pressure. https://princeclausfund.org/
About the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative
The Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative works to protect cultural heritage threatened or impacted by disasters and to help U.S. and international communities preserve their identities and history. https://culturalrescue.si.edu/
About the Netherlands Commission for UNESCO
The Netherlands Commission for UNESCO is the focal point in the Netherlands for UNESCO-related activities. Protecting heritage in crisis situations is one of the Commission’s core themes. www.unesco.nl
Photo: Egyptian Heritage Rescue Team responds after bomb-blast damaged Cairo’s Museum of Islamic art, January 2014
NOTE FOR THE EDITORS
For more information, please contact:
Martine Willekens, Prince Claus Fund PR Manager
Aparna Tandon, Project Manager, ICCROM
firstname.lastname@example.org +39 380 4644630
Liz Kirby, Senior Advisor for Programs and Partnerships, Smithsonian CRI
email@example.com +1 202-633-4238
Martijn van Eck, Spokesperson, Netherlands Commission for UNESCO
firstname.lastname@example.org +31 (0) 6 14 41 50 51