The conference was centered on producing solutions for protecting endangered cultural heritage in wartime in Tunisia with broader implications for the Middle East and North Africa.
TUNIS, TUNISIA (December 4, 2017) – Global Heritage Fund joined multiple governments and international organizations at the Protecting the Past conference in Tunis, Tunisia.
Aimed at highlighting digital tools for protecting cultural heritage in times of warfare and civil strife in Tunisia, but with broader implications for the Middle East and North Africa as a whole, the conference attracted multiple stakeholders in Middle Eastern cultural heritage, including the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa project at Oxford (EAMENA), the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and others.
Global Heritage Fund’s Director of Programs and Partnerships, Nada Hosking, gave the introductory speech to the conference. Discussing Global Heritage Fund’s work within the context of international, multilateral efforts at conservation, Ms. Hosking affirmed the importance of partnerships for safeguarding cultural heritage.
“At the core of our organization’s ethos is the certainty that cultural heritage preservation is a bottom-up and not a top-down endeavor. Empowering the communities that hold these sites in their hands is the key to any successful preservation project. Discovering just how to enable them to unlock the economic capital of their history is thus, in our view, the central problem of heritage preservation” Ms. Hosking said.
In keeping with the conference’s theme of developing digital solutions for heritage conservation problems, Ms. Hosking and the Global Heritage Fund team introduced conference attendees to the AMAL in Heritage program, a suite of mobile tools and applications for safeguarding cultural heritage in crisis. Andres Acosta and Suroush Khanlou, the app developers for AMAL in Heritage, presented on AMAL’s unique value proposition for heritage conservators in embattled parts of the Middle East and North Africa.
The conference also included presentations from Dr. Ali Drine Institut National du Patrimoine (INP) on ‘The Challenges and Opportunities for Protecting the Past in Tunisia’; Yasser Jrad (INP) on fighting the illicit traffic of antiquities in Tunisia; Ammar Othman (INP) and Anna Leone (Durham University) on the first results of their project ‘Training in Action: a Collaborative Project to form Professionals in the Heritage Sector in Tunisia and Libya’; and others.
Attendees included ambassadors from Sudan, Bahrain, Yemen, Oman, Jordan, Libya, Palestine and Morocco, and the Director Generals of Antiquities from Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine and Tunisia.
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 www.globalheritagefund.org.
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