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Point of the Matter Dialogue: Culture Cannot Wait

Emergency evacuation at Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum coordinated by Nepal army in 2015; Photo: Aparna Tandon, ICCROM
Emergency evacuation at Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum coordinated
by Nepal army in 2015; Photo: Aparna Tandon, ICCROM

The International Institute for Conservation (IIC) is pleased to announce “Culture Cannot Wait: Integrating  Cultural Heritage First Aid with Humanitarian Assistance in Crises”, the next dialogue in its “Point of the Matter” series. The dialogue, organized in conjunction with the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), will take place on Wednesday September 12, 2018 in Turin, Italy during the 27th Biennial Congress of the IIC.

Over the past decade, large scale natural disasters and armed conflicts have caused destruction and displacement in many parts of the world. While the rescue of people must be the priority of the agencies coordinating emergency response, the salvage of cultural heritage is essential for the psycho-social recovery of the societies which have experienced such traumas. Unfortunately, in most countries the emergency management plans of national, local, and military agencies do not include provisions for the rescue of cultural heritage.

In this dialogue, the panelists will draw upon their experiences planning for and responding to natural disasters and armed conflicts to discuss how cultural heritage recovery can be incorporated into emergency management and humanitarian aid plans. Invited panelists are Veronica Piacentini, Cultural Heritage Protection Officer of the Italian Civil Protection Department, Dr. Zeynep Gul Unal, member of a search and rescue team, GEA and Secretary General of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) International Scientific Committee on Risk Preparedness, Lt. Col. Tim Purbrick, SO1 Cultural Property Protection at British Army Headquarters. Lieutenant-colonel Thierry Burger, Fire Prevention Advisor for Heritage Assets at the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Rebecca Kennedy, preservation specialist and member of the Smithsonian Institution ‘s Preparedness and Response in Collections Emergencies Working Group, Aparna Tandon, Project Manager and Leader of the International Capacity Development Program on First Aid for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis at ICCROM, and Layla Salih, archaeologist, Mosul, Iraq.

IIC dialogues explore emerging issues in the modern world and the relationship of those issues to the preservation of cultural heritage. These events are also offered to raise awareness of heritage conservation among relevant professions and the public sector.