(Jan. 10, 2014) -- For several years, Iraqi and Kurdish conservationists have struggled to protect Iraq's more than 10,000 cultural heritage sites amidst the turmoil of armed conflicts in the region. Bombardments, theft and damage from military occupations have harmed many of the region's cultural sites.
Over the last year, the Center for Cultural Sustainability (CCS) in the UTSA College of Architecture and other organizations have worked with the World Monuments Fund (WMF) to train Iraq's historic conservationists.
Recently, the first class of conservationists graduated from WMF's Heritage Management Training Program in a private ceremony at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in Erbil, Iraq.
San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed UTSA Professor and CCS Director William Dupont, FAIA, and UTSA architecture professor and CCS researcher Angela Lombardi were among the instructors invited to participate in the program, which was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Between the two of them, they provided five weeks of intensive training in three visits.
"We were honored to offer our expertise to the highly motivated professionals in our classes during our time in Iraq," said Dupont. "I'm happy to report the value of cultural heritage conservation is universally acknowledged."
The training covered many heritage management topics including historic preservation techniques, the value of a World Heritage Site nomination, and guidelines from the International Council on Monuments and Sites. The classes frequently visited and studied surrounding sites, conducted preservation exercises, and attended seminars and workshops.
The success of the course led WMF to offer a similar training in Erbil later this year with UTSA and other organizations.
Since 2007, WMF has worked extensively to support the preservation of cultural preservation in Iraq, particularly in Babylon.
"We are delighted at the success of this program," said Lisa Ackerman, executive vice president of WMF. "Training a new generation of heritage specialists in Iraq will increase the capacity for proper management of historic sites in the country. We look forward to the 2014 program."
World Monuments Fund in Iraq
The World Monuments Fund has worked in Iraq since 2007. With support from the U.S. State Department's Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, and in collaboration with the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, WMF is nearing completion of a site management and conservation plan for Babylon, one of the world's most important archaeological sites.
In 2013, as a continuation of its commitment to working in Iraq, WMF developed the archaeological site management and historic preservation program to engage U.S. university faculty with local Iraqi and Kurdish professionals, and to frame their work and knowledge within an Iraqi preservation context.
World Monuments Fund
The World Monuments Fund is the leading independent organization devoted to saving the world's most treasured places. For nearly 50 years, working in 100 countries, its highly skilled experts have applied proven and effective techniques to preserve important architectural and cultural heritage sites around the globe.
Through partnerships with local communities, funders and governments, WMF inspires an enduring commitment to stewardship for future generations. Headquartered in New York, WMF has offices and affiliates worldwide. Connect online with WMF on Twitter and Facebook.
Visit the Curtis Vaughan Observatory and see the wonders of the sky over San Antonio with experienced astronomers.
4th floor, Flawn Science Building, Main Campus
A fun and festive evening featuring Corridos from Texas and Northern Mexico sung by AZUL and a reading of new and classic works by Carmen Tafolla, the new State Poet Laureate.
Buena Vista Theater (1.326), Downtown Campus
Listening session will seek input on the places, events and special circumstances that should be considered in determining whether concealed handguns may be prohibited.
John Peace Library, Faculty Center Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus
The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
Join President Ricardo Romo as he gives his address to the UTSA community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (UC 1.104), Main Campus
Graduate School representatives from across the country will provide information on options after earning a bachelor's degree. Students, alumni and community members are welcome.
University Center Retama Galleria, Main Campus
The day-long research conference will include a keynote address, faculty and student oral presentations, poster sessions, and an awards ceremony. Lunch will be provided for those who register. Abstract submission deadline is September 20, 2015. Event registration deadline is October 4, 2015.
H-E-B University Center, Main Campus
Kristen Rosen is developing technology to help breast cancer patients’ quality of life
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
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