A programme funded by the EBLA Fund

HERITAGE: BEYOND WALLS is a special project of the Fondazione Santagata, aimed at establishing an information channel, targeted to Syrian university students in cultural heritage related disciplines, to contribute to improve access to knowledge resources, break isolation, encourage sharing and discussion, and empower awareness and capacities towards cultural heritage as a resource for recovery, peace building and development.

This project is part of the engagement activities of the UNESCO Chair in Economics of Culture and Heritage.


Syria has been affected by conflicts and emergencies for almost 10 years and it risks not only to lose its physical and community cultural heritage, but also to face restricted possibilities for students in particular to access to knowledge.

The limited accessibility to knowledge is going to negatively impact not only the present, but also the future of the country. It weakens the local human capital and its capacity and readiness to promptly and effectively act for the recovery, also by means of a wise use of the country’s cultural heritage potential. Syrian university students are severely affected by the consequent isolation and limitation to have access to knowledge opportunities.

Syria is one of the countries holding some of the most extraordinary tangible and intangible cultural heritage in the world. It is home to 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites*, 5 elements inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list**, 1 Biosphere Reserve***.
Its capital, Damascus is the oldest inhabited capital in the world, being populated since 635 BC. Syrian cultural heritage holds an extraordinary potential for economic recovery and social empowerment, and it represents an important resource of development, especially for the younger generations.
* Ancient City of Aleppo; Ancient City of Bosra; Ancient City of Damascus; Ancient Villages of Northern Syria; Krak des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din; Site of Palmyra
** Crafting and playing the Oud; Al-Qudoud al-Halabiya; Falconry, a living human heritage; Practices and craftsmanship associated with the Damascene rose in Al-Mrah; Shadow play
*** Lajat Biosphere Reserve




HERITAGE: BEYOND WALLS is a project ideated and promoted by Fondazione Santagata for the Economics of Culture with the collaboration of different cultural institutions and international agencies.

Main partners: Cultural Emergency Response, Centro Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, EBLA Fund, ICCROM-Sharjah, Museo Egizio, Musei Reali di Torino, Phoenicians’ Route – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, RO.ME Museum Exhibition.

In collaboration with: A&RT, CoRes, Kermes Journal, SIAT.

Alessandro Roggero, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Italy
Alessio Re, Fondazione Santagata, Italy
Ali Esmaiel, The Agha Khan Network for Development in Syria, Syria
Andrea Longhi and Angioletta Voghera, R3C – Interdepartmental Center Responsible Risk Resilience Centre, Italy
Antoine Lahoud, Phoenicians’ Route Technical-Steering Committee Member, Lebanon
Antonio Barone, The Phoenicians’ Route – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, Italy
Beatrice Catanzaro, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Italy
Chiara Bocchio, Associazione Italiana Giovani per l’UNESCO – AIGU, Italy
Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri, IULM University, Italy
Francesco Bandarin, Former ADG for Culture at UNESCO, Italy
Giorgio Buccellati, UCLA, USA
Heba Aziz, UNESCO Chair for “World Heritage Management and Sustainable Tourism” at the German University of Technology in Oman and The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage Bahrain, Oman
Helen Marais, UK Embassy in Rome
Javier Ors Ausín, World Monument Fund, USA
Ksenija Keča, Scientific Committee Member and Head of the Croatian Network of the Phoenicians’ Route, Croatia
Maamoun Abdulkarim, Damascus University, Syria
Mahmoud Ramadhan, Play Maker, Belgium
Maja Kominko, ALIPH, Switzerland
Martha Friel, IULM University, Italy
Osama Hamdan, Mosaic Centre of Jericho, Palestine
Paola Buscaglia, Conservation and Restoration Centre “La Venaria Reale”, Italy
Paolo Del Vesco, Museo Egizio di Torino, Italy
Paolo Naldini, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Italy
Rachid Chamoun, Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, Lebanon
Rania Alzrair, ALSham Private University, Syria
Reme Sakr, Syria Trust for Development, Syria
Rob Woodside, English Heritage, United Kingdom
Ruba Saleh, ICHEC Brussels Management School, Belgium
Sabrina Casu, Graphic Days, Italy
Sanne Letschert, Cultural Emergency Response, The Netherlands
Sara Abram, Centro Conservazione Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, Italy
Sara Ferrari, The Phoenicians’ Route – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, Italy
Saverio Teruzzi, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Italy
Sedef Ozer, Conservation and Development of City Values Association of İzmir, Turkey
Shiva Shadravan, Überdentellerand, Germany
Silvia Sabato, Centro Conservazione e Restauro La Venaria Reale, Italy
Stephen Stenning, British Council, UK
Vanessa Fraga Prol and Freddie Thomson, Cultural Emergency Response, The Netherlands
Yara Moualla, UWS, Scotland
Yara Toma Al Jabi and Yasser Al Jabi, Damascus University, Syria
Yasser Al-Maamoun, Multaka Project, Germany
Zaki Aslan, ICCROM-Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

The programme Heritage:Beyond Walls sparked a series of opportunities and collaborations:

  • Lectures Protecting heritage to build peace. First intervention for cultural heritage in a post conflict area“, at Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) of the Italian Army (2020 and 2021);
  • Online workshops within the initiative “Young Professionals Forum. Emerging skills for heritage conservation”, organised by CCR (Centro di Conservazione e Restauro dei Beni Culturali “La Venaria Reale”):
    • Restoring Syrian Cultural heritage. Palmyra from protection to recovery” (2022)
    • Cultural Heritage in Syria: protection, conservation and recovery” (2023);
  • Participation in the WorkshopRestoring Syrian Heritage and Reviving Communities”, organised by the Syria Trust for Development and the Syria Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai (March 20-21, 2022): video;
  • WorkshopsBeyond Walls: Cultural diversity, dialogue, cooperation” within the Master programme in Arts and Digital Media for International Relations and Global Communication at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in Rome (2021, 2022);
  • Online workshopHeritage and Risks” held by Fondazione Santagata as part of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Certificate in Heritage and Risks course (January 19-20, 2023);
  • WorkshopRestoring Syrian Heritage and Reviving Local Communities” within the Master Programme in Cultural Property Protection in Crisis Response (2023). ;
  • Public programmeThe Damascene Rose. From Syria to Turin“, organised in collaboration with the Musei Reali di Torino and the Syria Trust for Development (2023);
  • WorkshopThe power of UNESCO” within the International Master in Advanced Public and Cultural Diplomacy for International Relations of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in Rome (2024).
  • Special workshopSyria. Heritage at Risk” within the Master Programme in Cultural Property Protection in Crisis Response (2024).
  • Special courseEnhancing Skills for Heritage Conservation. 2022-2023: Piemonte-Syria Knowledge Exchange“, organised by CCR in collaboration with H.Opes Foundation e Fondazione Santagata per l’Economia della Cultura.