Walter Santagata was a great teacher, in his profession and in life. In the toolbox he left us, alongside the reflections on the economics of culture, there are the attitude to listening, the courage to make decisions, the intellectual honesty to evaluate the results of our activities and a clear direction: continuing to work with and for people who live in countries that preserve an immense cultural heritage and that today find themselves in situations of crisis and emergency.

Paola Borrione – President & Head of Research

With this mandate we have worked with him and after him over the years in Egypt, Syria, the Balkans, Pakistan, Cambodia and many other countries around the world.

Today, alongside the research work, we are building a new intervention tool: the EBLA Fund, to be used in supporting training in the field of cultural heritage, for students and professionals from emerging or struggling countries.

The idea behind the Fund is to participate in building peace and development, thanks to training and work with and for people living in emergency contexts.

Over time, in fact, we have seen how training can change the lives of young people who have attended the programs to which we contribute, fostering positive change even in the areas where they live and work.

For this reason we have decided to continue on this path, collecting resources to be allocated to training and capacity building programmes in the cultural heritage sector.

We have been collaborating for many years in the organization of highly training courses focused on the management of projects for cultural heritage and development.
Our goal is to give young people from crisis and emergency contexts, the opportunity to train as professionals able to operate in the cultural heritage sector and bring development prospects to their territories.

The EBLA Fund supporting program gives life to 3 concrete tools:

  • the provision of scholarships to facilitate access to higher education programs and University Masters;
  • the implementation of distance training programmes;
  • the offer of internships and training at internationally recognised cultural organisations and institutions.

The first commitment is ours: every year we pay a share of the profits to finance scholarships.


The first beneficiaries of the scholarships will be selected from among the participants in the international Master in “World Heritage and Cultural projects for Development” and the international Master in “Cultural Property Protection in Crisis Response” (CPP).

Both masters, promoted by the University of Turin and with which the Foundation already collaborates under an agreement, place cultural heritage at the center of the training program. Furthermore, the international Master in “World Heritage and Cultural projects for Development” was born from an idea of Walter Santagata, who built and directed it for many years.

Through the action of the EBLA Fund we have been able to provide scholarships to deserving students and professionals:


  • Erik Bruns (Paesi Bassi) – Master in World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development
  • Hebatollah Al-Hamid (Siria) – Master in World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development


  • Aicha Knidiri (Marocco) – Master in World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development
  • Nagham Khalil (Libano) – Master in World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development
  • Silvia Barlacchi (Italia) – Master Executive in Cultura & Salute – Cultural Welfare Center


We carry out distance learning programmes, dedicated to students and professionals living in crisis situations.

Heritage Beyond Walls is the first programme created and fully supported by the Fondazione Santagata. Programme implemented in 2021 for the benefit of Syrian students in disciplines related to cultural heritage, aims to improve access to knowledge, overcome isolation, enhance specific skills as a resource for reconstruction, peace-building and development.


Among the institutions that are part of the Fondazione Santagata’s international network, the Centro Conservazione e Restauro La Venaria Reale, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto and ICHEC Brussels Management School, are available to offer deserving students an internship experience, aimed at job placement.

If you wish to know more about the EBLA Fund, contact us.