In the context of the political upheaval in the Arab countries causing major risks to their cultural heritage, and with the aim of equipping Libyan staff working in the field of cultural heritage with the necessary protection skills and procedures to manage heritage in times of crises, UNESCO and ICCROM, through its ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, held a planning meeting with heritage directors and specialists from Libya. At this meeting, which took place in Tunisia from 27 to 30 April 2015, Libyan participants presented case studies of endangered cultural heritage in Libya, focusing on the eminent risks. Their presentations also emphasised the pressing needs to address potential risks to cultural heritage, namely, the need to promote protection of cultural heritage in times of crisis.
Representing ICCROM were Dr. Zaki Aslan, Director of ICCROM-ATHAR, and Anwar Sabik, ICCROM-ATHAR, in addition to colleagues from UNESCO Chiara Bardeschi, UNESCO-Cairo, Mr. Karim Hendili, Project Specialist at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and Dr. Adalberto Biasotti, expert at UNESCO. The Libyan participants included Dr. Ahmed Hussein Yunis, Director of Libyan Antiquities Department, Dr. Saleh Agab, Director of Antiquities, as well as other heritage experts and officials from Libya.
The meeting resulted in a decision to hold a six-day training course for cultural heritage professionals in Libya. It will cover the following topics: risk preparedness, assessment and rapid documentation, and preventive conservation. The course will be a collaborative effort between ICCROM, through its ICCROM-ATHAR Centre, and UNESCO.