UNESCO trains five Syrian engineers and architects on 3D digital documentation

A three-day training on 3D digital documentation (data collection) was held at UNESCO Beirut office. This initiative was organized in collaboration with ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), CyArk (a nonprofit organization with the mission of using new technologies to create a free, 3D online library of the world’s cultural heritage for preservation and education) within the Project Anqa, focused on the rapid recoding of at-risk cultural heritage in Syria & Iraq and the UNESCO Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage project.

Launched on Monday 11 January 2016, this pilot training consisted in several and practical sessions also held at the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum in Beirut. Five engineers and architects, selected by the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) in Syria, took part in this training. Once back in Syria, these experts will train other colleagues in the new techniques acquired and conduct a first field documentation work on several heritage sites at the old city of Damascus using the equipments donated by CyArk.

Sites documentation will be conducted using terrestrial scanning, structured light scanning photogrammetry and photography. Resultant data will be verified by CyArk to comply with standards.

Another training, addressed to Syrian professionals, on processing and manipulating the data will be organized in the upcoming months.

With the worsening of the humanitarian and security situation, concerns over the protection of the Syrian cultural heritage have increased notably. In response to this prevailing alarming situation, and at the explicit request expressed by Syrian stakeholders, and particularly the DGAM, UNESCO launched the “Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage” project, a pioneering initiative funded by the European Union with the support of the Flemish Government and Austria in partnership with the ICCROM and ICOMOS. The project focuses on building technical capacities of Syrian experts and institutions and strengthening local, regional and international coordination to develop efficient responses.

For more information, please visit the International Observatory of Syrian Cultural Heritage.