From 27-29 November, representatives of governments from all regions of the world will meet at the FAO headquarters in Rome for the General Assembly of ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), the intergovernmental organization dedicated to the conservation of cultural heritage worldwide.
Delegations present at the three-day General Assembly will include diplomats and representatives from top-level institutions and ministries, both Italian and from abroad. “The ICCROM General Assembly is much more than the formal, ritual gathering of an intergovernmental organization. It is the place where decision-makers and professionals can share informed opinions on how to deal with the most relevant worldwide issues concerning heritage in our time”, stated Stefano De Caro, ICCROM Director-General and former Director-General of Antiquities with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (MiBAC). The General Assembly will serve in fact as a platform for Member States to voice their concerns regarding conservation issues and meet with representatives and peers from all areas of the globe. These countries will vote on the future programmes of the organization, and therefore help determine the trajectory of ICCROM as a source of information and capacity for promoting best practice in conservation.
As cultural heritage becomes increasingly vulnerable to global pressures, examples of the destruction of sites and museums by natural or human forces have become all too familiar. Much more attention must be given to the potential this resource has in healing communities and contributing to global development and empowerment. ICCROM, a small Rome-based organization that answers to 133 Member States, has positioned itself as a centre of excellence for the training of professionals in heritage conservation. The overall goal is to contribute to social stability, and environmental and socioeconomic development through culture.
In the 2012-2013 biennium, over 100 countries benefited from ICCROM’s services through training and think tank activities alone. These included workshops for the protection of heritage in conflict areas in the Arab region, a ground-breaking course in Kenya that merged the preservation of sound and images with smart phone technologies, and a conference that brought together the field’s most prestigious scientists to discuss how to connect conservation to wider social priorities.
Established in 1956 by UNESCO, ICCROM is the only institution of its kind dedicated to the protection and preservation of cultural heritage worldwide, including monuments and sites, as well as museum, library and archive collections. ICCROM fulfils its mission through collecting and disseminating information; coordinating research; offering consultancy and advice; providing advanced training; and promoting awareness of the value of preserving cultural heritage.
Journalists wishing to cover the General Assembly should contact ICCROM for accreditation by telephone (+39) 348 524 0248, or by email.
Maria Teresa Jaquinta: email@example.com
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