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International conference on architecture conservation concludes

United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, March 17 - 2004 @ 11:08

The conference emphasized that conservation practice should be based on evolving theoretical and philosophical foundations, and participatory
value-based management approaches. This can be facilitated by disseminating knowledge in this area by means of publications, use of media, and recognition of good practice.

It urged national governments and local heritage
institutions in the Middle East to establish laws and develop effective legislative measures for the protection and conservation of monuments and historic sites. For this purpose national registers have to be established in all countries. Governments and heritage institutions were also asked to increase security at all historic sites and urban areas of interest to visitors; urge cooperation between all related disciplines involved in documentation, conservation and the management of historic sites, together with collaboration between local institutions, and devise institutional mechanism to achieve a sustainable coordination; and introduce educational programs for young people in schools and through international/local NGOs and community groups. These programs are aimed to develop their awareness of their cultural heritage – and to educate them as future inhabitants of and visitors to historic sites.

Governments were also urged to establish certified training as a requirement for local craftsmen and construction workers as an integral part of all conservation projects and to support the establishment of regional society for the conservation of the architectural heritage in the Gulf region as a beginning to facilitate the non-governmental organizations in this area of interest.

The conference has asked international organizations like ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) and ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) to specifically serve the Middle East region through partnerships and by establishing specialized centers in the heritage fields; assisting in the establishment of regional conservation training centers, and to support conservation training in universities and other academic institutions. There should be an emphasis on interaction between the centers and the academic institutions; and establishing a dedicated web-based knowledgebase for the exchange of information and experience to cater for different architectural conservation aspects.

It also urged the UNESCO to inaugurate, with funding from local governments, an Award Program for architectural conservation every four years and calling respective parties to participate with projects, studies and researches.

To sustain the role of universities and academic organizations, the conference urged them to link heritage and architectural stakeholders through dedicated knowledgebase; expand requirements for architectural courses among mandatory subjects; enhance post-graduate studies in architectural conservation and heritage management and devise curricula that respond to practical needs; and provide certified training for local craftsmen and construction workers.

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Wednesday, March 17- 2004 @ 11:08 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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