Europa Nostra advocates for cultural heritage as a vector of peace at ALIPH Forum 2023


Cultural heritage professionals and stakeholders from across the globe gathered on 6-7 March in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to participate in the ALIPH Forum 2023, hosted by the ALIPH Foundation focusing on the protection of heritage in conflict areas. The conference featured panel discussions on pressing issues such as climate change, peace-building and natural disasters, as well as numerous stimulating workshops and roundtable discussions. Over 200 participants from across more than 30 countries attended.

The Secretary General of Europa Nostra, Sneska Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, took part in a panel discussion entitled ‘When protecting cultural heritage builds peace’. The panel was also joined by Sébastien de Courtois, journalist at France Culture; Sotos Ktoris and Ali Tuncay of Technical Committee for Cultural Heritage; Aparna Tandon, Senior Programme Leader, First Aid and Resilience for Cultural Heritage in Time of Crisis, ICCROM; Krista Pikkat, Director, Culture and Emergency Entity, Culture Sector, UNESCO; and Vincent Cayol, Development Director, L’Œuvre d’Orien.

The speakers addressed issues such as the long-term economic contribution that heritage protection offers a city, how can rehabilitating heritage sites build trust and its role in calming hostilities, and also brought concrete examples of how cultural heritage protection has contributed to dialogue between communities.

Cultural heritage protection in conflict and post-conflict areas has undoubtedly taken a more prominent role on the world stage in the past few years as international and regional authorities recognise the immense value this work can bring to economic, social and sustainable development.

ALIPH, a trusted partner to Europa Nostra

The close collaboration between Europa Nostra and ALIPH – International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas – started over a year ago, when the two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their joint efforts for the protection of cultural heritage with a particular focus on conflict and post-conflict zones in Europe and possibly in its neighbourhood.

Since then, the partnership has achieved major feats. In May 2022 Europa Nostra and Global Heritage Fund, in partnership with ALIPH and with the collaboration of the Heritage Emergency Response Initiative (HERI), launched the Heritage Solidarity Fellowship for Ukraine.

An initial 50,000 euros were raised through Europa Nostra and Global Heritage Fund’s joint crowdfunding campaign, and were doubled by the matching contribution of 50,000 euros by ALIPH, through the support of the European Union. Speaking at the third edition of Europa Nostra’s Women4Heritage online event on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Maja Kominko, Scientific and Programmes Director of ALIPH, announced it will renew its commitment to the fellowship with an additional 50,000 euros, through the support of the European Union.

This scheme has provided much-needed support to heritage professionals in Ukraine who are currently facing hardship. To date, over 150 Ukrainian people have received financial support.

The crowdfunding campaign is still ongoing. All donations, however big or small, are welcome and important, and can easily be made via the Europa Nostra website.


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