SHARJAH, The Sharjah Museums Authority, SMA, and ICCROM-Sharjah Regional Conservation Centre, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to support the newly launched Master's programme in Conservation Management of Cultural Heritage, CMCH, at the University of Sharjah.

Under the MoU signed by Manal Ataya, Director-General of the Sharjah Museums Authority, and Dr. Zaki Aslan, Regional Representative of ICCROM for the Arab States and Director of ICCROM-Sharjah, the SMA will share expertise and knowledge with the students through hands-on training programmes.

Carried out in the Arabic language, the CMCH programme comprises two areas, the Management of Museums (movable heritage), and the Management of Cultural Heritage Sites (immovable heritage).

Students of the programme will study a wide range of topics including the conservation of built heritage and museum collections, heritage presentation and interpretation, disaster risk management of cultural heritage and world heritage management.

"At the SMA, we are very excited about the programme, which is the first of its kind in the Arab world. It is a very important area of study that addresses emerging conservation challenges in the whole region, and integrated approaches to cultural heritage management," said Ataya.

She added that the Authority, being a strategic partner in this programme, will be providing all the necessary support, allocating its expertise and giving students access to Sharjah's museums, and different cultural sites that have been converted into museums, as well as the collections in museums and libraries.

"The MoU reflects the complementary roles of the SMA and ICCROM which will benefit the programme's students and, in turn, support the job market with much needed local and Arab talent specialised in the conservation and management of heritage, an area that suffers from a lack of professionals in the region," said Ataya.

"The programme being launched in Sharjah carries great symbolic significance as the emirate has fantastic facilities, institutional expertise and fertile grounds for cultural heritage conservation and management, effectively working with the support and guidance of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah," said Dr. Aslan.

The two-year programme comprises 33 credits, with the first year involving coursework spanning two semesters, while the second year is dedicated to the thesis component of the programme.

Source: Emirates News Agency