The deliberate destruction of cultural heritage has become a core feature of modern conflicts and a tactic of war. In this scenario, safeguarding the world’s cultural heritage is becoming increasingly urgent and imperative. At stake is people’s very identity – their sense of being, their culture, history, collective memory and future legacy.
When heritage is at risk of being erased from memory, documentation plays a fundamental role. It provides a testament of those sites and objects of major significance to a community, and also guides any future actions on that heritage.
This is theme of an international conference taking place next week in Rome. Heritage professionals and technology experts will share experiences and views on the current state and future prospects of documentation for heritage in crisis zones. Participants will explore the question of how the international community can create a viable system to standardize documentation and tracking of cultural heritage under threat.
The event will feature 28 speakers, notably:
“In one of the most important areas for the history of humanity, there are some today who wish to erase that memory by attacking the legacy that art has handed down to us. The scientific community must mobilize to block this. It is imperative to take measures to meet this challenge, to allow for fluid dialogue between all those contributing to this encounter of different civilizations, a dialogue which can no longer be put off,” stated the President of the Incontro di Civiltà Association, Francesco Rutelli.
“Documentation is crucial in ensuring the longevity of endangered cultural heritage, creating the basis, if needed, for its possible reconstruction. When it comes to safeguarding heritage in danger, ICCROM stands ready to facilitate dialogue between the key players and build capacities on the ground,” stated ICCROM’s Director-General, Stefano De Caro.
At the end of the first day, a panelist delegation will pay an official visit to the Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, at his residence at Palazzo Chigi. They will deliver the text of an international call for commitments: the Rome Agreement on Documentation of Endangered Cultural Heritage / Accordo di Roma sulla Documentazione del Patrimonio Culturale a rischio.
This event is organized by the Incontro di Civiltà Association, which promotes and fosters reconstruction of damaged cultural heritage, in partnership with ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property). It has received the High Patronage of the Presidency of the Republic as well as the patronage of UNESCO. The conference is organized thanks to the essential contribution of the Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo and its President, Emmanuele F.M. Emanuele, along with the contribution of Fouad Alghanim & Sons Group of Companies.
Admission will be by invitation only.