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.
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 in Syria: 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;
- Workshop “Restoring Syrian Heritage and Reviving Local Communities” within the Master Programme in Cultural Property Protection in Crisis Response;
- Cultural project “The Damascene Rose. From Syria to Turin“, organised in collaboration with the Musei Reali di Torino and the Syria Trust for Development.