The four-day theoretical and practical training “Protection of Cultural Heritage during the Armed Conflict” was held on May 17-18 at the National Guard HQ in Tbilisi, and on May 19-20, at the Sergi Makalatia Historical-Ethnographic Museum in Gori, where a practical simulation part took place. The training was led by International Blue Shield experts – Michael Delacruz and Emma Cunliffe.

It was attended by the representatives of the following local and national agencies:

The National Guard;

Gori Municipality;

Administration of State Representative – Governor of Shida Kartli;

Defense Police;

Staff of six Shida Kartli museums;

General Mazniashvili Youth Legion and

Georgia Red Cross Society.

Representatives of the EUMM, the ALIPH foundation, and national agencies attended the training as observers.

During the simulation exercise, the scenario of the impending armed conflict was drawn, during which the participants learned:

Principles for properly assessing the situation during an armed conflict;

Mobilization of agencies and redistribution of responsibilities;

Risk assessment methods;

Preparation of exhibits for evacuation (emergency documentation, packing);

Rules for temporary storage.

The training was conducted within the framework of the project “Planning for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage of Gori, Georgia” funded by the Aliph Foundation. The project envisages the creation of digital documentation of the collections of the Sergi Makalatia Historical-Ethnographic Museum and the development of emergency preparedness and management plan.

The purpose of the training was to provide participants with general information about military responsibilities and capabilities for the proper implementation of the protection of cultural property. The training also aimed to improve inter-agency coordinated action to protect cultural heritage in times of crisis. The course focused on the obligations under the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and it’s two – 1954 and, in particular, the 1999 Protocols.

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