"SOS Heritage" is embeded in the Creative Europe program, and is a project co-funded by the European Union. Led by Mazzini Lab Srl Benefit, the project consortium, consisting of five partner organizations from four European countries, started its project activities on 1 July 2022. It is the expertise that the University for Continuing Education Krems will bring to the project, especially in the conception of a training program for archivists, curators and museum staff.
The primary goal of SOS Heritage is to create a set of best practices to enhance and promote cultural heritage. In doing so, innovative measures need to be developed to assess and protect historic buildings from risks caused by ongoing climate change and the ensuing global warming. For this purpose, three main activities are planned in the course of the project: 1) the implementation of small pilot projects to digitize and promote cultural heritage in Italy, Serbia and Romania, followed by handing out a best practice manual for cultural heritage valorization; 2) development of an innovative web application to support curators, museum staff and archives operators when assessing and managing their respective collections‘ risks; 3) provision of a training course, in both forms classroom and online, on cultural heritage risk management, specifically tailored to the needs of the relevant professional groups.
Ways to make cultural heritage climate resilient
“As the risks climate change and global warming impose the cultural sector needs to act immediately to address them. Let's develop a new approach with which to respond to the climate change-induced transformations of our planet, and with which we can make our lifestyles more ecologically sustainable. The 'SOS Heritage' project, is an attempt we are undertaking to contribute to a more sustainable world by protecting our history and our collective identity," says Massimo Cruciotti, director of Mazzini Lab Srl Benefit.
“Backed by our manifold experience in designing continuing education programs and several EU projects such as 'ProteCHt2save' and 'STRENCH', we are very pleased to be part of the project consortium of 'SOS Heritage' and to contribute further to the protection of our cultural heritage in the face of climate change," says project collaborator Thomas Horak-Thurwachter, University for Continuing Education Krems.
Various institutions collaborating with each other, applied practice, bringing together and merging different cultures and ideals is necessary to achieve innovation. International cooperation consistently pursued turns out to be the only way to reach the primary goal of stopping climate change while protecting our cultural heritage.
About the project consortium
To this end, the international consortium comprises: Mazzini Lab Benefit, an innovative company with its core competence set on implementing customized risk assessments and risk management plans specifically targeted for museums, archives and libraries; the Center for Cultural Heritage Protection of the University for Continuing Education Krems, a leading institution in the teaching of cultural heritage risk management; the Associazione Dimore Storiche Italiane (ADSI), which unites the owners of 4500 historic Italian residences throughout Italy for the protection of cultural heritage; the Transylvania Trust Foundation, whose goal is to protect Romanian castles as well as the National Museum of Kruševac, including its collection of movable cultural assets and remains of material culture.
Duration of the SOS Heritage project is 24 months and it is co-financed by the European Union within the Creative Europe program by means of the grant agreement No. 101055573.
Thomas Horak-Thurwachter, BA MA