Reinwardt Academy participates in training First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

The hands-on training is focused on teaching practical skills (Photo: ICCROM)

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The fourth edition of the international training course First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis, organized by ICCROM, Smithsonian Institution and UNESCO Netherlands Commission for Unesco, will take place till 24 April in Amsterdam. Reinwardt Lecturer Martijn de Ruiter is one of the experts teaching the students on heritage protection and relief. Nina de Deus, masterstudent Museology, designed the conference in which participants share their individual experiences and stories on emergencies.

 

Practical skills
Twenty-two heritage professionals from all over the world will learn the necessary knowledge and skills that will enable them to save and protect heritage before, during and after a crisis situation. The First Aid Course is set up in accordance with the principle of “train the trainer”. Therefore participants are also selected on the ‘local impact’ they represent. They will share their knowledge in their own country with local organizations, volunteers and are encouraged to put in place “heritage rescue teams”. The aim is to spread the knowledge and skills they acquire among as many people as possible. In more than seventy modules the participants will learn to take preventive measures, analyse risks, and recover or restore cultural heritage. They are taught in the evacuation of valuable and fragile objects, and how to organise a crisis coordination team. The training is highly practical, which will give the participants the skills to save and protect heritage under very difficult and complex circumstances.

Organization
Recent examples of intentional destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria, as well as natural disasters like the hurricane in the Philippines, underline the importance of trained professionals in the field of cultural first aid. The Reinwardt Academy, the Tropenmuseum and the National Museum of World Cultures house much of the classes and exercises. Excursions and practicals will take place throughout the Netherlands, for instance in the Peace Palace Libray in The Hague, and inside the Fort Markenbinnen where a major disaster exercise will take place.The LDE Centre for Global Heritage and Development helped with the contents of the e-learning environment. The Dutch ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Prince Claus Fund, the City of Amsterdam and DutchCulture provide financial support for up to fourteen participants. In 2016, the training will take place in Washington.

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