World Monuments Fund Celebrates Graduation of Students from Heritage Management Course in Erbil, Iraq
In November 2013, World Monuments Fund (WMF) celebrated the graduation of the first class of students from its heritage management training program in Iraq. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the program grew out of WMF's ongoing work at Babylon as a means to increase site management capacity in the region.
The students were based at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in the city of Erbil and led by U.S. faculty from the University of California, Los Angeles; University of Virginia; and University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Coursework included classroom seminars and lectures, regional site visits, and practical exercises. The program also offered opportunities for Iraqi and Kurdish professionals to meet a range of international colleagues including scholars and preservation professionals from UNESCO, Institut français du Proche-Orient, University of Turin, Nature Iraq, and American University of Iraq. The success of the course has led to the opportunity to offer a similar training program in Erbil in 2014.