Construction of Ilisu dam halted

A consortium of European insurance companies has halted the construction of the proposed £1.1 billion Ilisu dam in the south of Turkey. The dam on the river Tigris, close to the borders of Iraq and Syria and scheduled to be complete in 2013, has courted international controversy due to its potential environmental and social impact. The dam was set to submerge numerous settlements, destroy habitats and displace 60-80,000 people. If it had gone ahead, it would also have drowned the ancient Mesopotamia town of Hasankeyf and hundreds of other unrecorded archaeological sites.

Volunteers help move collection at Ironbridge

More than eighty volunteers from Telford's Capgemini assisted the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (UK) in moving their historic textile collection on the 11th December. The Museum has a collection of over 7000 textile items. The collection is being moved to a new area as part of preparations for the 300th anniversary of the industrial revolution.

11 Dec 2008

World Heritage Site monitoring from space

World Heritage monuments in Asia will now be added to the list of those monitored from space, following a recent agreement between UNESCO and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA.

JAXA is to be involved with the UNESCO-European Space Agency (ESA) ’˜Open Initiative on the use of space technologies for the benefit of World Heritage sites'. Since its launch in 2001, ESA has provided UNESCO with satellite images and technical assistance to monitor World Heritage sites in Africa and Latin America.

Demos report hails need for public involvement in UK conservation

Think tank Demos have concluded that without increased public involvement, Britain's heritage will decline. According to their new publication It's a Material World, while more than half of Europe's conservation training is UK-based (57%), several of the country's key courses are threatened by closure. With Heritage Lottery Fund support set to drop by 43% over the next five years, the situation is worsening.

Launch of UK think tank’s report on conservation

In response to the University of Southampton's decision to close the Textile Conservation Centre, its staff and supporting Trust, the TCC Foundation commissioned leading independent think tank Demos to examine the role of conservation and conservation education in the wider social and political context and in the context of a changing world.

28 Nov 2008

Restored interior in China’s Forbidden City open for the first time

The Juanqinzhai, an 18th-century studio in the Forbidden City's Qianlong Garden, has been opened for its first ever public viewing after a comprehensive restoration. The intensive five-year project, led by the Palace Museum in Beijing and working in partnership with the World Monuments Fund, was part of a major 12-year, multimillion-dollar project to restore the entire Qianlong Garden complex.

Shibam escapes disastrous flooding

The ancient mud-brick built Yemeni city of Shibam, a UNESCO world heritage site, has largely survived recent devastating floods in the country. It has been reported that the flood waters were close to breaching the levee surrounding the town, which would have had disastrous consequences for its high-rise mud-brick buildings. Floods in Yemen followed two days of fierce storms in Hadhramawt and Mahra provinces which took more than 100 lives and have left many thousands displaced.

Floods in Yemen threaten UNESCO site

Many people are feared dead following a tropical storm in the Hadhramawt province of Yemen. The severe storm has also had a serious impact upon the region's historical buildings. The extent of the damage to the UNESCO site of Shibam is not yet clear as rescue operations are still underway. However, reports suggest that floodwaters are threatening the iconic mud brick buildings of the world heritage site, which is currently cut off by flooding.

Holy site declared dangerous

The Deir al-Sultan monastery on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has been declared a ‘danger to human life’ by engineer Yigal Bergman following a recent investigation. Atop one of Christianity's holiest locations, traditionally considered the site of Golgotha and of Christ's tomb, the monastery is at risk of collapse, endangering its residents, the church and visitors. The emergency situation has been worsened through dispute between a number of churches who have claims to the site.


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