International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Petra - Jordan

It is a challenging time for cultural heritage in parts of the Middle East and North Africa that have seen large-scale devastation, including the desecration and destruction of temples, shrines, cities and monuments.

Now more than ever, ICCROM’s work on cultural heritage protection and preservation in conflict areas is needed. Since it opened its doors in 2012, ICCROM’s Regional Office in Sharjah (ICCROM-ATHAR Centre), United Arab Emirates, has proven vital to fulfilling the organization’s mandate in the Arab Region by being closer to stakeholders and by leveraging regional collaboration mechanisms and community engagement in a region of many risks but also considerable opportunities. The branch office in the UAE has become an important force for cultural heritage advocacy, providing substantive logistical and operational support to ICCROM’s work in the region.

In partnership with Arab Member States, ICCROM-ATHAR aspires to protect the cultural heritage of the Arab region and to broaden access, appreciation and understanding of its history. The Centre focuses on architectural and archaeological tangible heritage, including heritage collections and historic places, sites and monuments. It primarily aims to enhance the capacity of official heritage institutions to manage heritage sites and museum collections on a sustainable basis. It does this through an array of regional educational and field activities, capacity building and training, consultation, information dissemination, symposia, workshops and seminars.

ICCROM-ATHAR’s mission is generously supported by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, as well as Member States and other partners.


Latest News

On 24 October, the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre held a Regional Meeting on “Enhancing institutional and Legislative Frameworks for the Protection of Cultural Heritage." The meeting was organized by ICCROM-Sharjah, with support from the Swiss government and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development in the UAE. Participants from 21 countries discussed the significance of the this initiative aimed at preserving cultural heritage and disseminating it to future generations.

ICCROM, through its ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Office, is proud to announce receipt of a £997,000 project grant to conserve three community museums in Omdurman, El Obeid, and Nyala, located in Western Sudan. This project will restore the three museums and provide for the educational and cultural needs of their communities, visitors and tourists.

The Egyptian National Organization for Urban Harmony, operating under Egypt’s Ministry of Culture in collaboration with UNESCO, has chosen to honour two prominent architectural heritage specialists from Egypt and the Arab world, for their significant contributions to safeguard cultural heritage.

Mosul’s iconic Al Nouri mosque and Al Hadba minaret will be reconstructed by a team involving ICCROM and UNESCO, in a five-year project funded by the United Arab Emirates. This news was announced in a press conference by HE Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, who has pledged US$ 50.4 million to support the initiative.

CultureSummit Abu Dhabi 2018, held from 8 – 12 April, is a high-level international summit bringing together leaders from the worlds of government, arts, media and technology to collaborate and address in concrete ways the role culture can play in addressing the great challenges of our time, from poverty and extremism to climate change and conflict.

World Heritage Site managers from across the globe are invited to participate in this year’s Forum, aimed at continuing to empower World Heritage Site Managers on the international stage.

ICCROM and its ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre are launching a new books series on cultural heritage conservation in the Arab Region. Selected Readings from ICCROM-ATHAR will provide a wide range of literature for both professional and academic audiences, aimed at promoting dialogue and debate, and bridging existing gaps in available knowledge resources.

ICCROM’s Director-General Dr Stefano De Caro joined Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO in praising Dr Maamoun Abdulkarim of Syria, for his tireless efforts to safeguard the country’s cultural assets during these years of war. Dr Abdulkarim’s five-year term as Syria’s Director-General for Museums and Antiquities coincided with a devastating conflict which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead, and has greatly imperiled Syria’s rich cultural heritage.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah (ICCROM-ATHAR) invites applications for the Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation in the Arab Region, 2017.

On 5 August, the Director-General of ICCROM, Dr Stefano De Caro, had the honour to attend the inauguration ceremony of Hassan Rouhani for his second term as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. De Caro’s attendance came at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, through its Embassy in Rome.