Protection of Cultural Heritage in Idlib Governorate, Syria: ICOMOS-ICCROM e-learning course for Syrian cultural heritage professionals in times of armed conflict
ICOMOS, in cooperation with ICCROM and the Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums of Syria (DGAM) held a new e-learning course for the Syrian cultural heritage professionals of Idlib on 21 August 2013. The course was led by the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Risk Preparedness- ICORP and follows on from an earlier course held in Damascus in January 2013.
The training course for Idlib Governorate responds to the immediate and urgent needs expressed by local heritage professionals and volunteers, who are actively in charge of protecting heritage sites and collections. The technical and scientific training provided during the e-learning course addressed the question of how to protect cultural heritage during a conflict situation, and how to provide first aid and emergency responses to damaged sites and collections.
Idlib Governorate is home to some of the most significant ancient sites of the country, including the Ancient Villages of Northern Syria, inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger.
ICOMOS Statement on Crac des Chevaliers and the continuing destruction of the cultural heritage of Syria
ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, expresses its deep concern for the on-going destruction of cultural heritage in Syria, and stands with Syrian cultural heritage professionals for the protection of heritage places in the country.
The continuing conflict situation in Syria, which began in 2011, has led to an extensive humanitarian crisis and the destruction of many invaluable cultural heritage places, including World Heritage properties.
New media reports and video footage of the bombardment and damages to Crac des Chevaliers, one of Syria’s World Heritage properties, are of particular concern to ICOMOS.
Once again, by recalling the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, to which the Syrian Arab Republic is a State Party, ICOMOS urges all parties to this armed conflict to respect and protect the cultural heritage. ICOMOS calls upon all parties to refrain from any use of cultural properties and their immediate surroundings for purposes, which are likely to expose cultural heritage sites to destruction or damage. The parties to this conflict should refrain from any act of hostility, directed against such places. ICOMOS insists on the demilitarization of all cultural heritage of Syria, including monuments and sites with outstanding universal value. ICOMOS further supports the decision of the World Heritage Committee suggesting that the Syrian Arab Republic consider ratifying the Second Protocol (1999) of 1954 Hague Convention.
The safety and protection of people is the first and foremost priority in any disaster, as is the resilience of their communities in times of disasters. The themes, presentations, discussions and conversations surrounding this Global Risk conference strongly support life safety being paramount, as do we within ICOMOS-ICORP.
As Chairperson of ICOMOS-ICORP, I would like to add additional thoughts that should also be addressed as we move forward, particularly with regards to disaster risk management and how heritage can be better protected from disasters while contributing to the resilience of societies.
Cambridge Heritage Research Group Seminar
Wednesday 22nd May
Lecture by: Bijan Rouhani (ICOMOS – ICORP)
Following the “Arab Spring” in the Middle East, protests and demonstrations started in Syria in March 2011 and soon turned to violence and armed conflict. Cultural heritage in all its forms is continuously suffering from the direct and indirect effects of this on-going civil war. Syria’s World Heritage sites together with numerous cultural properties of national and local significance are at serious risk.
This new publication has been prepared for the 4th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, 19-23 May 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland by Rohit Jigyasu, UNESCO Chair Professor at the Research Center of Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, and President of ICOMOS-ICORP,with the support of Manas Murthy, Architect and Sustainable Urbanist; Giovanni Boccardi (UNESCO World Heritage Centre); Christopher Marrion and Diane Douglas (ICOMOS-ICORP); Joseph King (ICCROM); Geoff O Brien (Northumbria University) and Glenn Dolcemascolo, Yongkyun Kim and Paola Albrito, Mariana Osihn, from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Northeast Asia & Global Education and Training Institute at Incheon and the Regional Office for Europe. All have provided valuable advice in developing this paper.
- Planned destruction of Sufi architectural heritage in Tunisia
- Protection of Syria’s Cultural Heritage in Times of Armed Conflict: ICOMOS - ICCROM e-learning course for Syrian cultural heritage professionals
- The Istanbul Statement on Cultural Heritage Protection in Times of Risk 2012
- ICORP Annual Business Meeting 2012