Under the Patronage of H.H. Ruler of Sharjah, ICCROM-ATHAR presents awards for the best conservation projects in the Arab world and announces next year’s ICCROM-ATHAR Award.
His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has inaugurated an exhibition highlighting the most prominent heritage conservation projects in the Arab world. The ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah (ICCROM-ATHAR) hosted an opening ceremony in the presence and under the patronage of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah, alongside an exhibition aiming to draw public attention to issues relevant to heritage conservation. This event comes at a time of escalating destruction to cultural properties due to ongoing crises.
The project exhibition is being held at the Heart of Sharjah as part of the Sharjah Heritage Days activities. Entitled “Best Conservation Practices in the Arab World,” this exhibition brings to the forefront conservation work accomplished in the fields of museums and urban heritage sites in the Arab region. In the exhibition, selected photos and posters present the impact of conservation projects both socially and economically. Another exhibition entitled “Highlights from Cultural Heritage in the Arab World” showcases the collections granted to the Centre by its Arab Member States. These two exhibitions are held in partnership with Sharjah Heritage Institution.
ICCROM for its part has announced the launch of the annual ICCROM-ATHAR award for best conservation practices. This effort falls into the organization’s dedication to promote the field of cultural heritage conservation.
Mme Marie Lavandier, President of the ICCROM Council, representing Dr Stefano De Caro, Director-General of ICCROM, said: “We strongly believe that the cultural heritage of any one country stands as a part of world cultural heritage. Hence, losing any of its components is a loss for all humankind.” Mme Lavandier emphasized ICCROM’s pride in its partnership with the Government of Sharjah, praising the vision of His Highness as well as his commitment to achieving conservation projects in the Arab region.
Also receiving His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi at the opening ceremony was Dr Zaki Aslan, Director of ICCROM-ATHAR and Regional Representative of ICCROM in the Arab Region. Dr Zaki Aslan said: “This activity paves the way for launching an annual award from Sharjah following the directives of His Highness the Ruler of the Emirate, whose gracious patronage laid the foundation of the Centre’s success and the achievement of its goals relevant to the promotion, conservation and preservation of heritage in the Arab region for the future generations”.
The exhibition presents 14 projects:
- Rehabilitation of the Old City Council Building in Damanhur, Egypt
- Urban Development of Al-Mu’izz li-Din Allah Al-Fatimi Street in Cairo, Egypt
- Conservation of Amra Palace Site, Jordan
- Conservation of Baalbek Archaeological Site, Lebanon
- Conservation of Tyre Tomb at the National Museum in Beirut, Lebanon
- Innovative Materials for the Restoration of Mosaic Floors at the Silene Roman Palace, Libya
- Visitors Centre at Volubilis Archaeological Site, Morocco
- Development and Management of Hisham’s Palace, Jericho, Palestine
- Conservation Plan for the destroyed buildings in Historical Suakin, Sudan
- Rehabilitation of the Old Citadel in Damascus, Syria
- Inventory as tool for the rehabilitation of the Old City in Tunis, Tunisia
- Restoration and Revival of Ad-Dour temple in Umm Al-Quwain, United Arab Emirates
- Restoration and Development of Bait Al-Ansari in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
- Restoration and reconstruction of the buildings located in Al Qasimi district in Sana’a, Yemen
Dr Aslan announced that the participating projects, together with a compendium of key published articles in Arabic, will be part of the new digital platform FASTI Online Archaeological Conservation, The platform will highlight best practice projects in in the region, while providing a tool for disseminating knowledge and experiences on conservation projects in accordance with international standards.
At the closing session, H.H. Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi honoured the best conservation projects, and awarded trophies to the exhibition participants.