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French President François Hollande officially launches the Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas on the 20 March 2017 at the Louvre in Paris
Image credit Élysée
A new global fund for endangered heritage sites has been launched by France and the United Arab Emirates. Writing in The Art Newspaper, Vincent Noce, reports that –
A new global fund to protect cultural heritage in war zones, spearheaded by France and the United Arab Emirates, has so far raised $75m of a planned $100m. The fund was officially launched [yesterday], 20 March, at the Louvre in Paris by the French President François Hollande and the vice premier minister of the Emirates, Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
University of Birmingham
Entrepreneurship in Cultural Heritage Workshop
Organised by the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham. In association with the West Midlands Museum Development.
Location: The Old Ikon Gallery, Fazeley Studios, Birmingham, B5 5SE England.
2 February 2017.
Over recent years the heritage sector has been hit by cumulative cut-backs in public sector funding, reductions in visitor spend and increasing competition for visitors. At the same time, a multitude of new opportunities continue to emerge relating to technological innovation, new audiences and communication networks and new management approaches. In the context of this developing landscape for the heritage sector, this workshop explores the increasing need for museums and heritage organisations to become ever more entrepreneurial in their approach in order to increase their resilience to the changing environment and also to identify ways and means to build profile, audiences, income and opportunities to communicate the heritage at their heart.
Through presentations by speakers who, in different ways, are involved with innovative approaches to the heritage and museums sector and through discussion, this workshop aims to identify some of the more entrepreneurial management practices of the heritage sector and to explore challenges and opportunities for future entrepreneurial actions.
· Working towards resilience
· Partner working outside of the heritage sector
· The role of the creative industries
· Going global
· Building audiences and income
Confirmed speakers include:
* Dr Chris Ferguson (Auckland Castle)
* Traci Dix-Williams (Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust)
* Colin Chester-Head of Buying, The National Gallery
* Tony Trehy (Director, Bury Art Museum)
* Harvey Edgington (National Trust)
* Elliot Goodger- Birmingham Museums Trust Enterprise Committee
Pre-booking is essential.
To book your place go here.
Early-bird rate of £45 ( by 13 Jan 2017).
Full delegate rate of £55 (by 27 January 2017).
Contact: Jamie Davies, Teaching Fellow in Cultural Heritage
0121 414 5616
Staff and volunteers from Accredited Museums or those officially Working towards Accreditation should reserve their place via the events page of the West Midlands Museum Development website: mdwm.org.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com
One of the five Stonehenge land trains
The Heritage Trust
To quote from our earlier feature –
According to Historic England (formerly English Heritage), “They [the land trains] have all gone for the moment. They went about a week ago. We do not know when they will be back. The land trains are being serviced and will be offsite for several weeks while we also take the opportunity to look at design improvements.”
According to the Western Daily Press article however (quoting an EH spokeswoman), “Over time it became clear that the land trains were unable to cope with the daily demands of a site as busy as Stonehenge and English Heritage now intends to find new homes for them at other English Heritage sites…”
The Heritage Trust contacted Historic England several times over the last year to ask when the land trains would be back in service, ony to be told, “We do not know.” It’s now patently obvious that when the trains were withdrawn last year Historic England knew full well that they would not be returning so why fob the public off with wishy-washy statements like these (we’ve seen enough of those recently with David Cameron’s statements on his tax affairs!). Such statements do not engender confidence in the public; indeed they generate mistrust and, specifically at Stonehenge with its proposed tunnel plans and new solstice celebration arrangements, plant seeds of doubt in the public’s mind that not all is as transparent as it should be.
What is really sad about the end of the line for the land trains is that, though totally inadequate when it came to transporting hundreds of people from the Visitor Centre to the Monument (and someone should have known that!), they were a load of fun. Children loved them, and the slow pace they travelled at gave people a chance to take in the surrounding landscape. So, why not have both conventional coaches for those in a hurry and the land trains for those who don’t mind waiting for the opportunity to ride them. Far from being a failure the land trains could become an added attraction to those visiting Stonehenge.
See also our feature, The new Stonehenge Visitor Centre: First impressions…
Is this heritage?
Kate Chapman, writing for the Spalding Guardian, reports on a new project called Our Lincolnshire. What does heritage mean to you? It’s a question historians and archaeologists from the University of Lincoln, England, are asking through a new online questionnaire designed to examine public attitudes towards heritage across the county and to find out what is seen as important when preserving and enhancing heritage sites and traditions.
The excavation of Carchemish (1912-13) with Leonard Woolley (right) and T E Lawrence (left)
In an impassioned piece of writing for The Wall Street Journal, Bonnie Burnham, President of the World Monuments Fund, says –
This winter, the film “Monuments Men” told the story of how, over two years, with virtually no resources or support, a ragtag division of 345 volunteers from 17 countries working under the aegis of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFAA) program rescued six million stolen artworks from Nazi depots, including some of the world’s most esteemed masterpieces, and saved hundreds of historic buildings, objects and archival collections from destruction in Europe and Asia.
Yet there has been no sequel to the work of the Monuments Men. Time and again, major cultural treasures have been destroyed, museums looted and archaeological sites despoiled during conflicts. Even after civil law was re-established in Afghanistan, Egypt and Iraq, the destruction has continued under the noses of authorities. In Syria, cellphones have captured the obliteration of the historic center of Aleppo. The director general of antiquities in Syria reports that 420 monumental sites have been damaged in the two years since the civil war began, many in the cities of Aleppo and Homs. The costs of reconstruction would run to the hundreds of millions of dollars and require highly specialized technical capabilities. Also troubling is the widespread looting that has occurred in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Yemen during the past decade. Estimates of antiquities looting and theft in Egypt and Syria since 2011 run into the billions of dollars; but sadly, we’ll never know its full extent.
Cultural heritage links us to our history and identity through structures, objects and traditions. It gives places meaning through references to the past. It enriches our quality of life, contributes to a community’s economic well-being and is fundamental to a healthy society. People in places under siege are no less concerned about their heritage than those who watch from the outside. But people caught in these circumstances are often powerless to intervene, which is why we need a dedicated effort on their behalf.