June and July have been busy and productive for the IDA. We have been privileged to attend a number of conferences around the world and have met amazing organizations, forged new partnerships and learned a great deal about the cultural heritage and international development sectors.
The summer began with a presentation at the opening of the Venice Biennale by Dr. Alexy Karenowska and Benjamin Altshuler. A piece of the Triumphal Arch of Palmyra will be on display at the Biennale until September, as a part of an exhibition on the latest technological innovations in art and architecture.
Executive Director Roger Michel, Dr. Karenowska and Khaled Hiatlih, who was instrumental in the IDA’s Trafalgar Square Program, also presented at the Emergency Safeguarding of Syria’s Cultural Heritage Conference, which was held in Berlin in early June.
IDA representatives also attended the #Unite4Heritage UNESCO Conference in Brussels and the annual meeting of the Abraham Path Group in Geneva to discuss the role of the Million Image Database in documenting endangered sites and monuments. These conferences also gave us an opportunity to meet many of the organizations working tirelessly on documenting and cataloging cultural heritage around the globe. It is inspirational to know that this community is robust and growing. There has been an upswelling of support for initiatives like #Unite4Heritage and the Million Image Database (which is about to break the quarter million image mark).
Roger Michel was honored by Trinity College Oxford at the Bathurst Society Lecture and Dinner. Both Mr. Michel and Dr. Karenowska spoke on the subject of reconstruction and its place in the world of cultural heritage management. Dr. Karenowska gave a particularly interesting perspective as a scientist on the value of authenticity and the division between original and recreation in the minds of the public.
The IDA’s conference season was rounded out with a presentation to the EU Presidency in Amsterdam on June 30th and roundtable discussions with some of the world’s leading innovators at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s ‘Metamorphosis’ meeting.
Thank you to all of the individuals and organizations involved in the meetings we attended over June and July. It has been a privilege to be part of the international discussion on cultural heritage preservation. The IDA will host its own conference, World Heritage Strategy Forum 2016, in Cambridge, Massachusetts from September 9-11th 2016.