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 yers 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 impacting not juts on the present, but also on 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 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites*, 6 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; 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
Beatrice Catanzaro, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Italy
Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri, IULM University, Italy
Francesco Bandarin, Former ADG for Culture at UNESCO, Italy
Giorgio Buccellati, UCLA, USA
Helen Marais, UK Embassy in Rome
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
Sanne Letschert, Cultural Emergency Response, The Netherlands
Sara Abram, Centro Conservazione Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, Italy
Shiva Shadravan, Überdentellerand, Germany
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 Centro di Conservazione e Restauro dei Beni Culturali La Venaria Reale:
    • Restoring Syrian Cultural heritage. Palmyra from protection to recovery” (2022)
    • Cultural Heritage insyria: protection, conservation and recovery” (2023);
  • Participation in the Workshop “Restoring 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;
  • Workshops “Beyond 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, Roma (2021, 2022)
  • Online workshop “Heritage and Risks” held by Fondazione Santagata (18 and 20 January 2023) as part of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Certificate in Heritage and Risks course.