First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

In partnership with ICCROM, the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, and others, the Prince Claus Fund/CER organised the First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAC) training courses. From 2010 to 2019, interdisciplinary international training courses have been organised in Italy, the Netherlands and the United States. To date, over 100 professional cultural first aiders have been trained and officially certified.

The FAC courses are currently not organised, but the international network of trained professional first aiders is strong and active. FAC alumni have taken up key roles in large scale response actions in, among others, Haiti, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Ukraine.

The FAC course specifically aims to enhance risk assessment skills and the ability to take action and mitigate risks while humanitarian and peacekeeping operations are underway. It also aims to improve collaboration between the cultural and humanitarian sector by streamlining activities and communication and enabling cultural responders to be integrated in humanitarian response efforts.

CER and its partners continue to build on this effort.

Participants not only enhanced their knowledge but also started thinking differently about the role that cultural heritage can play in building peace in our society. Moreover, many cultural institutions and NGOs have asked me to replicate the course. I would like to highlight the importance of the international courses like FAC that, on one hand, help to build an international network of first aiders and on the other, generate excellent learning materials which help to rapidly transfer skills and knowledge in ongoing crises.

Lama Abboud, FAC alumna 2016
View our FAC handbook
View our FAC toolkit