Armenia is a country that has been affected by both natural disasters and armed conflicts. Initiated by ICOM Armenia, ICOM supported the organisation of a training course for museum professionals from the region.
The damages that have affected museums and their collections during the earthquakes, the war for Artsakh (in 1990s, 2016, 2020) showed that the museum community is not prepared enough to react on time and organise the safety measures for their collections and staff on time. Ani Avagyan, ex-Chair of ICOM Armenia, expressed a need regarding the organisation of a training activity on disaster risk management for the Armenian museum professionals to address a lack of knowledge and tools in the area.
The training, which took place from October 24 to 28 at the History Museum of Armenia and the Khachatur Abovyan House-Museum, provided 30 participants from the region with specific tools to prevent, prepare and implement disaster risk management strategies for their collections, staff and visitors in case of earthquake, flood, blast, war, structure collapse, etc. The training included study visits to various institutional members of ICOM Armenia, including the Basilica of Ereruyk, the Museum of National Architecture and Urban Life of Gyumri (Merkurov’s house-museum), the Aslamazyan Sisters Gallery and the TUMO Centre for Creative Technologies.
About the trainers
Amira Sadik Aly Holds a Bachelor of Archeology, high diploma of History of Art, and Greco-Roman from Faculty of Archeology, Cairo University, high diploma in translation from the University of Lyon. Working in documenting Tangible and intangible heritage, she participates in the organizing workshops for public and specialists. In 2014 Joined the EHRF Attending TOT program requirements for First Aid to cultural heritage in the event of disaster or conflict, providing by ICCROM, UNESCO. Honored to participate with them, as trainer and co-trainer in national, regional and International training courses of First Aid and Risk preparedness and DRM for cultural Heritage Properties.
Vernon Rapley F.S.A. Vernon is the Director of Cultural Heritage Protection and Security, at the V&A Museum in London. He is the creator and director of the internationally recognised ‘Culture in Crisis Programme’ and the ‘Culture in Crisis Portal’. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (London). The Chair of the ICOM International Committee for Museum Security, Chair of the National Museum Security Group and of the Security of Major Museums in Europe (Bizot sub-group). Before joining the cultural sector, Vernon was a detective at New Scotland Yard for 24 years. He retired as the head of the Art & Antiques Unit in 2010.
About ICOM regional trainings
Each year, ICOM organises different Regional Trainings to give museum professionals from all over the world the chance to participate in high level workshops led by international experts. These workshops also aim at creating regional networks for museum professionals that they can use to exchange information or to initiate and develop collaborative projects. ICOM’s goal is to reach all regions with its trainings workshops every two years, so that all museum professionals can have the possibility to attend.