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06 Dec 2019

V&A launches digital database for cultural heritage preservation projects
BY Andy Knaggs

Heritage disasters on the scale of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire figure strongly in public awareness, but many other preservation projects around the world need exposure and support

Heritage disasters on the scale of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire figure strongly in public awareness, but many other preservation projects around the world need exposure and support
photo: Shutterstock

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is demonstrating its commitment to protecting the world's cultural heritage and supporting communities that suffer cultural loss, through the launch of a new Culture in Crisis Portal.

A free digital resource, the portal allows users to register their preservation projects and search for those already in existence. The V&A said that it hopes the portal will become the world's largest and most accessible database of cultural heritage preservation projects.

Launched in 2014, the Culture in Crisis programme works to combat the damage caused to cultural heritage through conflict, criminal acts or natural disasters. It seeks to provide a forum for those working on the preservation of cultural heritage to share information, raise awareness and inspire and support action, and the V&A said the new portal was a step toward achieving this.

The museum added that the portal will allow those working on cultural heritage preservation projects to connect with potential sponsors, collaborators and experts. Optimised search capabilities include filters for project type, location and other criteria.

Among the initiatives currently underway through the Culture in Crisis programme, is the creation of a V&A Culture in Crisis Charity. It's hoped that the charity raise public awareness and allow the public to directly support preservation and conservation efforts. Additionally, a collaboration with the British Museum will allow the creation of a European Museum Security Group, which will consider strategic security issues and look at innovative and safe ways for museums to assist in the protection of cultural heritage while ensuring the safety and security of visitors, staff and collections.

"We understand the impact of cultural heritage loss on communities and the contrasting positive role its preservation can have in rebuilding and recovering these areas following conflict and disasters," said the V&A in a statement.

"As such, we aim to encourage a cross-disciplinary approach, raising public awareness and working with organisations from a variety of backgrounds to take a holistic approach to the protection of heritage in all its forms."



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