JAIC , Volume 39, Number 1, Article 14 (pp. to )
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC , Volume 39, Number 1, Article 14 (pp. to )




Many of the lessons learned by experience over the years were introduced into ICCROM's training programs. For example, Dr. Hans Foramitti's efforts in the 1970s to teach emergency planning particularly related to historic urban areas, including the identification of their character, and the hazards they might have to face. One of the tools in such an exercise was the use of aerial stereophotography, and it was stressed that potential hazards should be marked on the relevant inventory sheet. Having identified the risks, it was advised to take the necessary precautions, identify access routes for fire engines, provide storage space and equipment for emergency situations, and remove valuable heritage objects from areas where they would be vulnerable to disaster. A development in this regard is the risk map developed by the Italian Restoration Institute, a statutory collaborator of ICCROM. The purpose of this mapping is to have an active database to help identify areas of potential risks and to undertake preventive action. The first phase has involved gathering data on risks to cultural heritage in the national territory. The second phase involves cataloging heritage resources according to their vulnerability and making a detailed analysis of their conditions. The third phase is to establish a computer database of the information available as a tool for risk prevention.

ICCROM has continued to introduce the question of risk preparedness and emergency action into its international training programs, such as the ARC and the international workshop on Integrated Territorial and Urban Conservation (ITUC-97). Such training examines alternative solutions and the development of action plans and discusses the role of guidelines. Training in risk preparedness and management of emergency situations has also been introduced in other courses that ICCROM organized for many years (until 1989) on safety and security of museum collections, to shift the emphasis from emergency to “preventive conservation.” This phrase was then adopted by the Preventive Conservation in the Museums of Africa (PREMA) program initiated at ICCROM in Rome in the 1980s, and subsequently transferred to Africa, where it has addressed a variety of target groups. The more recent Preventive Conservation in Oceania PREMO program, organized jointly with Australia, is focused on the conservation of cultural heritage in the Pacific region.

Risk Preparedness: A Management Manual for World Cultural Heritage, written by Professor Herb Stovel, was published in 1998 by ICCROM jointly with ICOMOS and UNESCO. This manual is intended to provide conservation managers with a blueprint for making their own site-specific guidelines and to serve as a teaching guide for short training courses in risk preparedness. Stovel has prepared a list of training modules that can be combined according to needs and serve as a training tool for teachers. The courses are essentially targeted to property managers and decision-makers, both beginners and more experienced people. It is proposed to integrate the training within the infrastructures or systems already in place for emergency response and to emphasize preparedness in mitigating potential losses to cultural heritage. The modules address specific problem areas, and define the challenges faced in natural disasters and armed conflicts and in improving risk preparedness in relation to particular types of heritage. There is a balance between theory and practice, and the length of each of the modules is generally five days. The modules were tested in a pilot seminar in Dubrovnik late in 1998.