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UTSA architecture faculty help rebuild Iraq’s cultural heritage

John Zarco

World Monuments Fund conservation site in Iraq

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(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."

The UTSA Center for Cultural Sustainability explores the continuity of the cultural systems of human existence. For more information, visit the UTSA College of Architecture website.

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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.

 

 

 

Events
Feb. 5, 6:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy's Curtis Vaughan Observatory will offer free stargazing for the public beginning on top of the 4th floor of the Flawn Science Building. Experienced astronomers will be on hand to show a variety of astronomical objects and answer any questions. This event is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite friends and family.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory

Feb. 6, All Day

10th annual San Antonio Writing Project Teachers' Conference

This year's keynote speaker is Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisper. The event will feature breakout sessions and a presentation by the Creative Writers from North East School of the Arts. The event is free and open to all teachers from Pre-K through university level. Attendees can earn a certificate for 3 hours of Professional Development Credit.
Riklin Auditorium (FS1.406), Downtown Campus

Feb. 9, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. & 6 - 9 p.m.

Rowdy Gras 2016

The UTSA community is invited to attend the 3rd annual Rowdy Gras celebration! This year Rowdy Gras includes a daytime event from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. with a free food tasting and music on the UC Paseo. The main event takes place from 6 - 9 p.m. in the UC Lawn. The event includes free food, live jazz music, activities and giveaways.
University Center Paseo & Lawn, UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning 2015-16 Speaker Series

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series continues with Dana Cuff, Ph.D., a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her talk, Cuff will discuss new forms of “studio” and new types of practices. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), UTSA Downtown Campus

Feb. 13, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

29th annual Asian Festival - Year of the Monkey

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

Feb. 13, 1 p.m.

2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium

Join the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in celebrating interdisciplinary inquiry at the 2016  Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium.  The colloquium will include a panel of faculty and recent doctoral graduate and a showcase of the best IDS undergraduate inquiry projects of the year 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.

African-American Social Welfare Pioneers Responding to Community Needs

The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Iris Carlton LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus

Feb. 23, 7 p.m.

Presentation and Book Signing with Luis Carlos Montalvan

Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

12th Annual Black Heritage Gala

The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Feb. 27, 9 a.m.

Cultural Contrasts in Latin America

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)


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