Our Vision

Cultural heritage surviving and flourishing as a resource for community and national well-being for future generations

Following the Haiti Cultural Recovery Project in 2010, where heritage professionals from around the world worked with our Haitian colleagues after the earthquake, the Smithsonian continued to enthusiastically advocate for and develop further capacity to coordinate and participate in emergency preparedness and disaster recovery of cultural heritage worldwide. In November 2012, Corine Wegener was named Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer at the Smithsonian, and she began to assemble a team of experts integral to the process of responding to cultural crises sparked by armed conflict or natural disaster.

Drawing from our talented Smithsonian experts, from archaeologists to conservation scientists to collections managers, we are aiming to create a place exclusively designed to protect cultural heritage and respond in times of disasters. Working together with our collaborating partners, we can provide the advice and on-the-ground assistance that is needed in times of crisis. We want to create and share new research dedicated to uncovering the root causes of damage to cultural heritage in disasters. And we want to provide a place of leadership and learning, a place where people can come to learn techniques for saving their own cultural heritage when it is at risk.