The present cooperation project “Safeguard and Enhancement of the Cultural Heritage of Iraqi Kurdistan” has been carried out starting from 2012 by the Department of Classics – Sapienza, University of Rome, commissioned by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It is intended as an ideal continuation of the project named “Safeguard of the Cultural Heritage of Iraqi Kurdistan” carried out within the framework agreement between IsIAO (Italian Institute for Africa and the Orient) and DGCS (General Directorate for Cooperation and Development, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
The primary objectives of this project are in providing a contribution in the strengthening of local institution capacities in the fields of cultural and archaeological resource management of Iraqi Kurdistan and to promote awareness within the scientific community and public opinion on themes concerning the safeguard of cultural heritage, with the full involvement of local institutions. The project includes training courses to be held locally and in Italy.
Specific objectives of the program are those relative to the necessity of contributing to the autonomy in the field of cultural heritage management and enhancement of officials and personnel belonging to the institutions involved through training courses, training-on-the-job and connected activities.
Thus in summary, the objectives that the program proposes to pursue are the following:
Strengthening of the capabilities in cultural heritage management;
The exposure and enhancement of the territory, its monuments, its museums, its cultural resources, also through a participated approach
The entire program, proposes in its complex, through the diffusion of methodologies and acquired results at national and international levels, the rise in awareness of institutions and public opinion towards a full acceptance of the necessity of a correct safeguard and management of cultural heritage and to stimulate the interest of the more learned international public opinion in respect to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, promoting the active participation of the local institutions (training course in Italy, publications, meetings, etc.).
The program requested by the Iraqi authorities, carried out by the Department of Classics of Sapienza University, Rome, responds to the need for a renovation and increase in knowledge and in the study of cultural heritage, in the fruition of the latter in the sectors of museum cataloguing, topographic and photogrammetric documentation, land use planning and planning for restoration. The final goal is to promote the knowledge of the territory and its cultural heritage and thus to contribute to the development of cultural-touristic itineraries and to an adequate fruition of sites and museums.
The main parties involved in the program’s actions are the MoTH (Ministry of Tourism and Heritage) through the officials and personnel belonging to the three provincial archaeological museums and the HCECR (High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalization).
The MoTH provides for the safeguard of the monumental and archaeological sites in addition to the museums. In spite of many economic, structural and organizational difficulties it has been operating for many years to improve the state of cultural heritage in this region. Currently the MoTH manages the three archaeological museums (located in each provincial capital of the Kurdistan Region: Erbil Sulaymaniya and Duhok) and has among its primary objectives the requalification of the territory and the training of technicians and university graduates, in order to promote and enhance the professional and technical resources necessary for the economic, social and cultural development of the region. The HCECR (High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalization) provides for the safeguard of the monuments, archaeological treasures of the Erbil Citadel together with its primary objective, which is the Citadels revitalisation.