Online webinar ‘The invincible city: Society in cultural heritage recovery’

The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage was invited to participate in the webinar on ‘The invincible city: Society in cultural heritage recovery’ that was organised by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland and the National Institute of Cultural Heritage together with the World Heritage Centre UNESCO, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM).

The online conference was held on 21 October 2020 and invited a group of international experts in the protection of World Heritage, to discuss the revival of historic cities devastated by war in the 20th century, and to address the challenges that endanger heritage during times of destruction and conflict.

Experts shared their experiences and knowledge during two thematic panels. The first panel was dedicated to “Ruins, bricks and dust. International experience of the recovery of historic cities”, while the second panel focused on “Ruins towards the future. How to plan a recovery process? Solidarity with Beirut.

The Director of ARC-WH contributed to the second panel by presenting the role of ARC-WH in the region as well as the various courses of action being taken by ARC-WH to address the growing concerns of armed conflict and natural disasters that threaten heritage in the Arab region, and that have also unfortunately led to 21 out of the 86 (24%) World Heritage sites in the Arab region to be added to the List in Danger.

In light of the bleak outlook of the region, the Director discussed the activities that have been undertaken by ARC-WH, together with UNESCO and the Advisory Bodies, to address the challenges affecting the Arab region. ARC-WH has worked relentlessly towards fostering connections and coordination efforts with local authorities, NGOs, universities, community leaders, while also implementing capacity-building activities and training in the protection of World Heritage sites for heritage professionals and representatives responsible for these sites.

The event was organised to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the reconstruction of the Historic Centre of Warsaw and the 40th anniversary of its inscription on the World Heritage List in 1980.