The event featured a virtual reality experience of Ciudad Perdida, Colombia and a screening of director Tim Slade’s film Destruction of Memory, and was followed by a panel discussion of the many roles technology can play in the heritage sector. 

SAN FRANCISCO, USA (November 14, 2016) – Global Heritage Fund hosted an event, “Can Technology Preserve the Past?”, on November 14th to showcase new technologies in the heritage sector and examine their role in the ongoing fight to protect cultural heritage.

The focal point of the event was an abbreviated screening of director Tim Slade’s film, Destruction of Memory, followed by a panel discussion with Mr. Slade; Sam Cossman, CEO of Qwake Media Inc.; Marina Djabbarzade, Chairwoman of GHF’s Senior Advisory Board; and Stefaan Poortman, CEO of Global Heritage Fund.

Panelists discussed their experience in the cultural heritage sector, with particular attention paid to their perspectives on technology’s increasingly important presence. Ms. Djabbarzade discussed AMAL in Heritage, Global Heritage Fund’s platform for preparation, response, and recovery to cultural heritage disasters. Mr. Cossman discussed his collaboration with Global Heritage fund on a full photogrammetry digitization of El Mirador, a monumental Mayan city and former GHF Project site.

“The panel discussion was particularly illuminating,” said Mr. Poortman. “[Tim’s] film was a great, broad scope perspective of the challenges facing cultural heritage. Going in-depth into the last 100 years of cultural heritage, both preservation and destruction, helped everyone contextualize today’s most pressing issues. Basically, [the destruction of cultural heritage] isn’t a new thing. It’s been going on for years.”

During the event, attendants were also able to sample a virtual reality film about GHF’s project site of Ciudad Perdida, Colombia. The film, produced in concert with FDC Creative, featured footage taken from the city of Santa Marta, the surrounding mountains, and the site of Ciudad Perdida itself rendered in virtual reality.

Sponsors for “Can Technology Preserve the Past?” included the Autodesk Foundation, Qwake Media Inc.,, FDC Creative, Beast, and One Hope, Bond, and JVS Wineries.

About Global Heritage Fund

Global Heritage Fund (GHF) is an international conservancy dedicated to protecting, preserving, and sustaining the most significant and endangered cultural heritage sites in the developing world. GHF utilizes its 360-degree Preservation by Design® methodology of community-based planning, science, development, and partnerships to enable long-term preservation and sustainability of global heritage sites. Since 2002, GHF has invested over $30 million and secured $25 million in co-funding for 20 global heritage sites to ensure their sustainable preservation and responsible development. To learn more, please visit