Durham hosts international meeting on protecting cultural heritage

Durham University

University College (Durham Castle)

Experts from around the world met in Durham to discuss how to protect cultural heritage at risk of destruction from human and natural disasters.

Heritage leaders, archaeologists, anthropologists and development specialists from the UK, Ukraine and other areas of Europe, Brazil, USA and Thailand met in person and virtually at Durham Castle – home to our University College – to address the protection and management of culturally significant sites and artefacts.

Conserving heritage

Questions included:

  • How can we handle global concerns in cultural heritage in the face of serious political and global economic, social, and cultural problems?

  • Where can we help heritage sites and organisations as a University, as humanitarians, designers, business leaders, and academics?

  • How can we respond to emergencies and conserve heritage after human and natural disasters?

Effects of conflict

The event included a panel discussion co-chaired by UNESCO Professor Robin Coningham, of our Department of Archaeology, and Dr Mariann Hardey, of the Business School, with additional contributions by specialists joining the panel remotely from Ukraine.

They discussed the effects of the current conflict in Ukraine on cultural heritage and what needs to be done to protect and rebuild cultural heritage in the country.

Dr Hardey and Dr Zhibin Lin organised the event. Other speakers included Interim Executive Dean Professor Kieran Fernandes, who opened the event, Durham World Heritage Site Coordinator Jane Gibson, and Professor in Interactive Media from York University, Marian Ursu.

They were joined by President of The Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) Olivier Henry-Biabaud, Vice-Chancellor for Scientific Policy, Research and Transfer at University of A Coruña Professor Salvador Naya Fernández, and Associate Professor in Cultural Tourism Studies at Chiang Mai University, Dr Ploysri Porananond.

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