International Congress: Cultural Heritage and Catastrophes

International Congress:
Cultural Heritage and Catastrophes: Lorca as a Reference

3-5 October 2018
Teatro Guerra, Lorca

Cultural heritage has always been and is increasingly threatened by catastrophes and disasters, both natural and human causes. Earthquakes, floods, fires, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes and wars or terrorist attacks that in recent years threaten cultural and natural assets with a frequency and a destructive power that were previously unknown.

Prevention, planning and technical preparation to act quickly after suffering a disaster, as well as the coordination of institutions and civil society, are fundamental elements for avoiding irreversible losses and making the recovery of heritage possible. The recovery of cultural heritage after a catastrophe does not only allow us to maintain wealth, culture and a possible source of economic resources but, above all, it has revealed itself as an important factor in the resilience of communities, by reinforcing their identity of societies and enhance the actions aimed at their material, economic and social recovery.

The earthquake that occurred in the city of Lorca on May 11, 2011 destroyed a large part of the cultural heritage of this city. Many buildings declared assets of cultural interest or cataloged were affected, as well as a large part of the construction of the historic complex and a large amount of personal property.

Rapid action by the population and institutions and the planning and coordination of interventions have allowed that in a term of seven years the patrimony of the city of Lorca was able to recover in its entirety. This experience is already an international reference and can serve as a model on how to act in a situation of emergency.

To commemorate the European Year of Cultural Heritage, the Hispania Nostra association, together with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, and the Lorca City Council, with the sponsorship of the AON Foundation, have convened the congress international “Cultural Heritage and catastrophes: Lorca as a reference”.

In the congress, experiences of catastrophes in the cultural heritage lived in different countries, the different systems of protection and action in emergencies, the recovery process carried out in Lorca will be analyzed and it will be an opportunity to visit the specific actions carried out.