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Smithsonian CULTURAL RESCUE INITIATIVE

First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis: Culture Cannot Wait!

June 2 - 29, 2016, Washington, D.C., USA


FAC 2016 banner

FAC 2016! The International Course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis was held for the first time in Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian from June 2-June 29, 2016. A partnership between the Smithsonian and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), the month-long course focused on developing skills and capacity in cultural heritage professionals in the event of a disaster.  The 21 participants of the course hailed from 18 different countries and were diverse in both experience and expertise, however, all shared a fierce passion towards the cultural heritage of which they protect and were exceptionally eager to learn. We are incredibly proud of our the FAC 2016 class and look forward to hearing how they will apply what they learned in the course in their respective areas of specialty.  All FAC alumni are encouraged to apply to the Cultural Emergency Response (CER) program of the Prince Claus fund for future "first aid" projects.

  • FAC 2016 participants and teachers in front of the Smithsonian Castle after the Opening Ceremony. (Michael Barnes, Smithsonian)
  • FAC 2016 Opening Ceremony Key Speaker, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, David Saperstein. (Michael Barnes, Smithsonian)
  • Participants learning shoring techniques from Tim Bowden, Robert Silman Associates, at Congressional Cemetery. (Michael Barnes, Smithsonian)
  • Participants executing simple shoring in order to stabilize a brick wall at Congressional Cemetery. (Michael Barnes, Smithsonian)
  • Participants brought items from their homes and shared why each one was meaningful to them during the Participants Conference. (Michael Barnes, Smithsonian)
  • The participants during their item show-and-tell at the Participants Conference. (Michael Barnes, Smithsonian)
  • Smithsonian conservators and collections managers guided participants through several different tables of damaged objects and gave instructions on how best to handle each type. (Michael Barnes, Smithsonian)
  • Participants working with Susan Heald, Textile Conservator from NMAI on how to handle wet or damaged textiles. (Michael Barnes, Smithsonian)
  • A participant stares into the tunnel, assessing the damage to objects below, in one of the storage containers during the final simulation exercise. (Smithsonian Institution)
  • Participants setting up and managing their object recovery area during the final simulation exercise. (Paul Wegener)
  • The entire group at the conclusion of the final simulation exercise with members from the military and other external actors. (Stacy Bowe, Smithsonian)

Newsletters! Course Summaries! Bibliographies!

Discover more about the First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis program by browsing our course documents, pictures, and other information regarding 2016 FAC. Check back again soon as we continue to upload and publish more information about this year's incredible course.

FAC 2016 Newsletter
A overall summary of our FAC 2016 program complete with summaries of sessions, activity highlights, and dozens of photos!

Guiding Principles of FAC Course Curriculum
Is it possible to protect cultural heritage during a complex emergency? If yes, then when is the right time to intervene, and who all can help? Seeking answers to these questions is the premise of ICCROM’s international training on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAC). Download this document to further learn of the course’s guiding principles and philosophy. Credit: Aparna Tandon, Project Specialist, ICCROM (2016)

First Aid to Cultural Heritage During Complex Emergencies
This infographic visually illustrates the key components of a cultural first aid process: Context Analysis, On-Site Survey, and Security and Stabilization Actions.

FAC Bibliography
A list of useful sources that were selected for each FAC session.

FAC Glossary
Compiled terms with definitions sourced from standard field references.


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