Project: Heritage and Threat

Acronym HeAT
Duration 01/05/2015 - 30/04/2018
Project Topic Today's world contains a host of phenomena and situations that constitute threats to objects, sites and practices deemed "heritage" by stakeholders, threats that can also stem from the creation of heritage sites, objects and practices. Yet there is still a dearth of systematic information about this broad palette of threats that constitutes a gap in our general knowledge and an obstacle to the purposeful activity of governments and institutions at times of crisis evaluation and intervention or post-crisis reconciliation. The HeAT project aims to address this situation over the course of three years through systematic analysis of threat to heritage in four different localities and situations: Syria and Northern Iraq in crisis; Poland's memory in times of change and modernisation; Romania and the "knowledge" registers that save or destroy objects, sites and practices; Italy and dams, constructions that inevitably endangers traces of the past.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The identification and categorisation of various threats to cultural heritage, and corresponding stakeholder positions: conflict, economic development, ignorance and misunderstanding or conscious misuse etc. The multi- facetted approach, varied from theoretical and philosophical to empirical, through grass-root involvement to interaction with stakeholders in armed conflict (Kurdistan). • The publication of a taxonomy of threats, in spring 2019, following an open access symposium in November 2018 (Shanghai, China), and identifying types of threats to/from heritage and the nature of conflicts that can lead to destructive processes of cultural heritage. A working hypothesis was formulated in the form of a threat complex explaining the process of formation and implementation of threats. • An online and GIS research tools for landscape and heritage management developed in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano, Centro per la Conservazione e Valorizzazione dei Beni Culturali, completed with an extensive and open-access database for dams in the Middle East. • A traveling exhibition, which traveled through entire Denmark, raising the debate on the impact of migration movement and refugees on the perception of heritage, and several other planned exhibitions, with historical pictures from Syria, feeding contemporary discussions about refugee movements, their impact on heritage and the role of heritage in a post-conflict Syria. For the general public a documentary was also produced, titled: Flooded Heritage. The Impact of Dams in the Near East10.
Website visit project website
Call JPI Cultural Heritage and Global Change

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Copenhagen Coordinator Denmark
2 Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Partner Romania
3 Ośrodek Badań Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej Partner Poland
4 Universita degli Studi di Bologna Partner Italy
5 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum Observer Denmark
6 Danish Blue Shields National Committee Observer Denmark
7 Fudan University, Shanghai Observer China
8 Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino per il Medio Oriente e l’Asia Observer Italy
9 IULM university, Archeoframe Lab Observer Italy
10 Politecnico di Milano Observer Italy