Project for the Establishment of an Institute for Preservation of Architectural Heritage
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Partners: UNESCO
Donor: European Commission

After years of accumulated knowledge and varied experience in the preservation of architectural heritage in the Old City of Jerusalem, which included implementation of hundreds of restoration / rehabilitation projects and training many professionals and practitioners in the field of architectural conservation, the Technical Team of OCJRP / Welfare Association launched in 2007 a project for the establishment of an Institute for Preservation of Architectural Heritage in partnership with UNESCO and with funds from the EC.

The project was developed to satisfy the need to institutionalise training in the field of Heritage protection and to establish a programme for applied training in conservation in Palestine with the related activities to support the training.

The project implementing partner is the Technical Office of the Welfare Association. The project progress is followed by a specialised Steering Committee comprised of members from UNESCO, Welfare Association and Leuven Institute.

The Institute includes two main divisions:
A Training Unit, offering theoretical as well as practical training.
Information and Documentation Unit, providing professionals, practitioners and researchers access to information on conservation methods, references, tools for learning and training documents.
1) Training Unit:

The main functions of the unit are:

Development of curriculum for training in architectural conservation.
Establishment of an integrated applied training programme including classroom and on-the-job training for professionals and practitioners in the field.
Implementation of the various training courses in all subjects related to conservation (theoretical and practical).
Coordination and collaboration with stakeholders, partner organizations and community groups.
2) Information and Documentation Unit:

The main functions of the unit are:
Establishment of a documentation and information centre for the Old City of Jerusalem to provide researchers and professionals with data and information related to historic buildings, conservation and restoration methods, heritage preservation laws and regulations and general references on conservation issues.
Creation of a specific database for the Institute to include detailed data and information on major historic buildings and monuments in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Publication of books, leaflets and periodicals on the subject of conservation and preservation of historic buildings and sites.
Preparation of a special manual for restoration techniques and maintenance of historic buildings to assist practitioners and users of historic buildings and build their capacity in restoration methods and techniques following international standards and regulations for conservation.
Future Prospects

Upon the completion of the first phase of the project, most of the requirements to develop the institute have been achieved and the project proved its relevance, effectiveness and impact as a leading training body in architectural conservation.
The Welfare Association therefore aims to proceed with the establishment of the Institute for Preservation of Architectural Heritage in Jerusalem and expand its activities in other Palestinian areas. To ensure the success and sustainability of the Institute, the Welfare Association will be working closely with its international and local partners and will build new partnerships with practicing and academic institutions involved in the field of heritage preservation.