Course Announcement: “Risk Management of Cultural Heritage in Times of ...

Dates: 4 – 27 October 2016 Place: ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE Course Partners ICCROM, through its ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE Government of Sharjah, United ...

Vacancy Announcement for Operations Officer

ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre (ICCROM-ATHAR) is pleased to announce a vacancy for an Operations Officer (Budget and Finance, Human Resources and Procurement) to join the centre’s team. Please see the ...

ICCROM-UCL Meeting: Open Access and Open Data

On 22 May 2016, ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre (ICCROM-ATHAR) welcomed Dr Alison Heritage, Conservation Research Specialist at ICCROM and Dr Stavroula Golfomitsou, Lecturer and Researcher in Conservation Studies at UCL ...


Dates: 4 – 27 October 2016

Place: ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE

Course Partners

  • ICCROM, through its ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE
  • Government of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Background and Aims

In response to political upheavals and the imminent need for emergency preparedness in the Arab region, ICCROM-ATHAR has focused efforts on addressing issues in the preservation of cultural heritage in times of crisis. To this end, the course on Risk Management of Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis aims to train heritage and other relevant professionals in countries of the Arab region. The course aims to provide participants with tools that support risk management before, during, and after crisis. It will largely address first aid interventions and protection of cultural heritage in times of crisis.

Why this Course?

New lessons are learnt each time a conflict breaks out and affects a site or artefact of cultural significance. Specialists need an awareness about the necessity of risk preparedness planning as part of larger risk management processes. A holistic strategy and consideration of risk management planning process can help mitigate losses and destruction to safeguard our shared heritage before irreparable damage is exerted. Thus, risk management is a systematic process that aims to help organisations understand, evaluate, communicate and take action to address risks in order to devise priorities and minimise the possibility of failure.

Cultural heritage institutions in the region need to consider developing local strategies with local human capital to protect cultural heritage in the event of crisis or emergency. Guiding principles in the development of risk management strategies are sustainability and empowerment of local capacities to address local problems with local solutions. Efforts on the ground are often strengthened by international humanitarian agencies and members of the military or police forces, as witnessed in the aftermath of the catastrophic events that took place in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. Risk management thus aims to strengthen local responses and actors that can eventually have the greatest immediate impact in the recovery and rehabilitation of an affected community. Additionally, there is a need to provide strategies for interlocking humanitarian specialists with those in the culture sector in order to better integrate balanced cultural responses during an emergency.

Inadequate practical skills and knowledge for taking simple measures to secure and stabilise endangered cultural heritage form another challenge in the region.

Skills such as effective teamwork, leadership and negotiation for protecting cultural heritage in tense situations are also needed to address the stress and chaos of complex emergencies.


After the course, participants will be invited to submit proposals to carry out risk management and preparedness projects or organise training courses in their respective countries. The aim will be to use knowledge obtained from this course and project outcomes to strengthen disaster risk management of cultural heritage at a national and regional level.

Course Objectives and Expected Results

The course aspires to create effective and nationally and/or regionally recognized emergency task force(s) for managing risks to cultural heritage.

The course will develop participants’ skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Disaster risk management planning framework applied to cultural heritage protection
  • Ethics and principles of conservation in crisis situations
  • Emergency documentation for movable and immovable heritage
  • First-aid to historic structures and cultural collections
  • Mediation, teamwork and negotiation skills
  • Integrating cultural heritage protection with international humanitarian aid
  • Planning principles for post-crisis recovery
  • Application of international legislation for the protection of cultural heritage

Course Structure

The training will be theoretical, practical, and participatory and will include group discussions, role plays, demonstrations and interactive lectures. Site visits and case studies will be used to improve participant learning experience. Soft skills such as working in a team or negotiating for protecting cultural heritage in tense situations are progressively enhanced using simulated emergency situations throughout the course.

Teaching Team

A multi-disciplinary and international teaching team will include professionals who have been working in emergency situations to protect cultural heritage and provide humanitarian assistance.

Participants and Admission

The course is intended for 15 – 20 participants with varied profiles (archaeologists, architects, art historians, collections and site managers, conservators-restorers, conservation scientists, curators, directors of museums, gallery and archive professionals, etc.) from the Arab states. Other professionals from relevant disciplines are also encouraged to apply (e.g., humanitarian aid, military, police, NGOs). Admission to the course will be subject to selection criteria including:

  1. Professional background: at least a BA in a relevant field of study.
  2. Letter of intent: candidates are requested to provide a letter stating clearly the reasons for applying to the course, what they hope to learn from it, and how it will benefit them and their institution, country, or future employer.
  3. Employment: priority is given to professionals affiliated with institutions working in relevant fields.
  4. Work experience: those who have already gained at least 2 years of practical or research experience in the field will have priority.

Working languages

The working languages will be both Arabic and English. Proficiency in English will be required particularly for research work and reading of reference materials.


All participants should have personal health and accident insurance. Upon selection, candidates must provide a signed medical and accident participant’s release form.


Please use the application form available on this web site. Applications should be endorsed by the relevant ministry or entity in the candidate’s home country. The carefully completed forms should be sent to:

ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE

PO Box: 48777 Sharjah, UAE

Tel: +971 (0)6 555 2250; Fax: +971 (0)6 555 2213



Financial Resources / Support

A request for financial support should be indicated in the application form. ICCROM-ATHAR will provide a few scholarships (subject to evaluation), to cover accommodation, meals and travel for the duration of the course.

Course Fees: 900 US Dollars

Payments will be accepted in cash or via bank transfer to ICCROM’s account details below:



F.A.O. Branch N. 06825 – Rome

Via delle Terme di Caracalla

00153 – Rome – Italy

Bank Coordinates (ABI) (C.A.B.): 03069 03356

Account #: 130109604345 in USD

Swift Code (BIC): BCITITMM

European Bank Coordinates (IBAN): IT14 N030 6903 3561 3010 9604 345


Application Deadline: 20 August 2016

Please note that any applications received after this deadline will not be considered in the selection process of candidates for this course. 


SELECTED READINGS FROM ATHAR: Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Arab Region, Oct. 2013, series 1.


Following several ATHAR Programm’s foundation courses in Byblos and Tripoli (Lebanon) in Amman (Jordan), and in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates), it was deemed necessary to put some of the experiences learned in the hands of a wider audience beyond the direct benefit of course participants. “Selected Readings from ATHAR” is a result of valuable contributions from scientific instructors who took part in the ATHAR core regional courses and who were invited to submit scientific material relevant to the topics they covered during the ATHAR courses. It is thanks to the Government of Sharjah and Italy and ALECSO who financially have supported the ATHAR Programme and this particular publication. The subjects included in this first series of “Selected Readings from ATHAR” range from theoretical approached to the conservation of cultural heritage sites to the implementation of techniques and management approaches for the safeguard of immovable heritage for future generations. It is our aim to disseminate this knowledge for the effective benefit of practitioners and educators working this specialist field and in the Arab Region.

− Zaki Aslan, Director, ATHAR Programme, ICCROM

Hard copy for sale in the bookshop


Introducing Young People to Heritage Site Management and Protection


It is a publication intended for primary school teachers to raise the awareness in the conservation of cultural heritage in the Arab Region.  It is a guide that offers principal notions on conservation practices and management of historical sites and cities. It also underlines the threats facing cultural heritage today. It contains information, ideas and practical activities to help teachers to introduce this theme in schools and school curricula. The aims of the guide are to make young people aware about the importance of the heritage situated in their region and to involve them in its protection and care.

Zaki ASLAN coordinates and manages ICCROM’s ATHĀR Programme, which aims to protect and promote the rich cultural heritage in the Arab region, and broaden access, appreciation and understanding of its past. To achieve this goal, the programme stresses the participation of young people in the process.

Monica ARDEMAGNI has collaborated with ICCROM since 1990 in the realisation of projects related to advocacy. She conceived several activities destined to school teachers and pupils in Italy, in Europe and in the Arab Region.

Soft copy in pdf (1.86 MB)
Hard copy for sale in the bookshop

Issue 2, May 2014. (pdf 45.0 MB)


• Introduction
»ATHAR at a glance
»Consolidating Partnerships

• Activities
»4th Core Regional Course Review Meeting
»ATHAR at the Egyptian Academy in Rome
»First Aid to Archaeological Finds Workshop in Bahrain
»Symposium on Conservation of Urban Heritage: Living Heritage in Islamic Cities
»Ad-Dour Project: Challenges and Solutions

• Highlights
»Final Touches to the ICCROM-ATHAR Premises
»Laboratories in the ICCROM-ATHAR Centre
»Recent Meeting:
»» IRCICA (Syria)
»» Workshop on Heritage Education in Doha
»» Cooperation with Bahrain
»» Saving the Rich Heritage of Egypt
»» Yemen: Integrating Heritage in University Curricula
»» Partnership in UNESCO-EU Project for Syria

• From ATHARnet
»Condition Assessment for Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, Egypt
»After ATHAR …. Projects by Former Participants
»» Documentation of the Cultural Heritage in Rosetta City
»»Conservation Project of the Grand Tower of Melah

• Coming Soon
»Master’s Degree in Cultural Heritage Conservation Management
»Invitation to the Official Opening


Issue 1, Oct. 2013. (pdf 18.3 MB)


• Introduction
»ATHAR at a glance

• Activities
»The Sharjah initiative
»WAC: Follow-up to the Sharjah initiative
»Regional course on the management and conservation of cultural heritage

• Highlights
»Higher diploma in conservation
»Building of the ATHAR centre
»Sharjah Archaeology museum celebrates its twentieth anniversary
»National Projects: Yemen and Libya
»The latest on world heritage in the Arab Region
»Training for protection cultural heritage in times of conflict

• From ATHARnet
»Assessment of Cultural Heritage status in Syria during the undergoing crisis
»After ATHAR: projects by former participants

The ATHAR program and ICCROM courses have taught me a lot regarding the preservation of monuments, especially mosaics. I participated in the course held in TYRE / LEBANON, and the result was that I was able to work in the maintenance of mosaics with greater confidence, thanks to the information and practical experience gained from these courses.
Mohannad Al Taweel – Swaida, Syria
During the course on Conservation and Management of Cultural Heritage: Sites and Museum Collections, we learned some new methods of management and planning for cultural heritage which can help us a lot in Sudan. Knowing more information about the digital documentation of heritage and about the international practices for protection and conservation of heritage sites has added a unique value to our knowledge, which, in turn, is the future of our heritage.
Fawzi Hassan Bakhiet – Khartoum, Sudan
ATHAR is a program which aims at encouraging Arab professionals to understand the best methodologies to protect and manage cultural heritage . It helps us diagnose problems, propose solutions and think more deeply about the future of heritage in the Arab region. Personally, the regional course on ‘Conservation and Management of Cultural Heritage: Sites and Museum Collections’ was an extraordinary experience which allowed me to fill gaps in my training in conservation and management of cultural heritage.
Hager Krimi – Tunis