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
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.

 

MENA News

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.

Dr Abdallah Hamad Muhareb, Director General of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), passed away on Thurs 4 May. He was 71 years old.

On 11 February 2017, the Director General of UNESCO, Mrs Irina Bokova, visited the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah as part of launch for the #Unite4Heritage campaign in the United Arab Emirates.

The first International Training Workshop on the Museum Environment and Preventive Conservation is being held in Tehran from 8 to 12 January 2017. It brings together 34 museum professionals from Iran, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Turkey.

On 27 October 2015, ICCROM and the Government of the United Arab Emirates signed a Headquarters Agreement which lays the foundation for the establishment and operation of the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE. This agreement confers upon the Centre its legal status, enabling it to execute its functions and achieve its objectives as an intergovernmental institution in the UAE.

On 11 October, H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah met with ICCROM Director-General, Dr. Stefano De Caro in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The objective was to discuss programmes and plans being implemented in the Arab region through the recently-established ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah. Established in 2012 by the ICCROM and the Government of Sharjah, ICCROM-ATHAR focuses on architectural and archaeological tangible heritage in the region including heritage collections, rich and varied historic places, sites and monuments.

The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) today expressed outrage at the reported destruction by the militant group ISIS of the 1st century Temple of Bel, one of the finest and best preserved monuments of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palmyra.