EU countries share experiences on Disaster Risk Management for cultural heritage at the European Parliament

19 October 2016

UNESCO supported the organisation of a workshop on “Emergency intervention for Cultural Heritage” to share good practices on the protection of heritage from disasters, which took place at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on 29 September 2016. The workshop was hosted by Mircea Diaconu, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-President of the Committee on Culture and Education.

The initiative was intended to support the Ministry of Culture of Romania and the Romanian Institute for Cultural Heritage in their efforts to improve the legal, institutional, and operational framework for the protection of cultural heritage in Romania, by means of presenting and discussing selected experiences from other European countries.

Special attention was paid to cooperation between cultural heritage and civil protection authorities and professionals  with regard to the reduction and management of disaster risks for cultural heritage deriving from natural and human-induced hazards.

UNESCO, through its Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, based in Venice (Italy), its Culture Sector’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit, and its Liaison Office in Brussels supported to the organisation of the workshop by providing advice and technical assistance for the definition of the programme and the selection of relevant case-studies and resource persons.

The workshop was opened by Mircea Diaconu, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Education and Culture; Oana Bogdan, State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture of Romania; and Paolo Fontani, Director of the UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels and Representative to the European Institutions.  

The introductory speeches and following session on sharing experiences among European countries on Disaster Risk Management for Cultural Heritage were respectively moderated by the UNESCO Regional Bureau in Venice and the International Scientific Committee on Risk Preparedness of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS–ICORP).

Presentations from invited countries focussed on respective experiences with regard to risk prevention and management as well as post-disaster emergency interventions.

Participants and speakers included representatives of cultural heritage and civil protection authorities from Romania, Austria, France, Italy and Spain, as well as international experts from ICOMOS-ICORP and UNESCO. Were in attendance the workshop in Brussels: Ştefan Bâlici, National Institute for Cultural Heritage of Romania; Johannes Sima, Federal Monuments Office, Austria, Stéphane Manciulescu and Thierry Burger, Ministry of Culture and Communication of France; Fabio Carapezza Guttuso, Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism of Italy; and, Alfonso Muñoz Cosme, Cultural Heritage Institute of Spain; Rohit Jigyasu, President, and Zeynep Gul Unal, Secretary General ICORP (ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Risk Preparedness).