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Mexico, Latin American Seat for Cultural Property Protection Center
Mounir Bouchenaki (left), director of ICCROM and Alfonso de Maria y Campos, director of INAH. Photo: DMC.INAH/ M.Marat.

MEXICO CITY.- Mexico through the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) will be the operational seat of the United Nations program for Latin American cultural heritage conservation after celebrating an agreement with the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property ICCROM).

The agreement, valid for the next 3 years, was signed by general directors of INAH and ICCROM, Alfonso de Maria y Campos and Mounir Bouchenaki, respectively. Through this scheme, Mexican experts will elaborate curses to be imparted in different Latin American countries, to prevent loss of cultural legacy in the region.

The Latin American Program, LATAM, will be operated from Mexico through the INAH National Coordination of Cultural Heritage Conservation (CNCPC).

Mounir Bouchenaki, ICCROM general director, remarked that Mexico is a key country for the development of the program, mainly regarding the design of curses to be imparted in Central and South America.

ICCROM launched the idea of designing specific projects for the different regions of the world; in the Latin American case, Spanish language represents a fundamental tool for agreement and discussion.

The aim is to integrate experts in different areas of the Institute considering that the ICCROM-LATAM Program attends the following themes: Education and Formation, Illicit Traffic, Risk Management, Economical Indicators for Conservation, and Information Divulgation.

During the presentation of the program, Miguel Angel Echegaray, INAH technical secretary, considered that basing operation in Mexico will facilitate cooperation to solve cultural heritage problematic in Latin America.

“This agreement is a collaboration mechanism that will allow balancing actions in different countries of the region, thanks to conservation of a past identity and the objects that reinforce it, with the aim of constructing Latin American identity, an issue that has been delayed”.

Lilia Rivero Weber, national coordinator of Cultural Heritage Conservation, considered that after 50 years of joint work between INAH and ICCROM, “Mexico is a country that contributes and receives input that results in technical and academic excellence work within the frame of international regulations”.

The restorer said that the LATAM project began in 2008 with the objectives of improving and strengthening abilities of professionals in conservation; improving communication and exchange, and raising awareness among nations with cultural heritage.

“Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have many similarities, our contexts, needs and possibilities, so gathering capacities and sharing experiences will deliver great results, to be reflected in the quality of our interventions, the soundness of our discipline and, above all, heritage conservation, divulgation and valuation”, mentioned Rivero Weber.

Valerie Magar Meurs, conservation expert at CNCPC and coordinator of LATAM-ICCROM Mexico program, explained that its intention is to strengthen abilities in conservation of cultural heritage in Latin America, combining movable and immovable heritage with the aim of eliminating barriers between architects, archaeologists and restorers.

“Latin America and the Caribbean count on with great richness of cultural expressions; some of them are exclusive of certain countries but the great amount of similarities help planning activities that may be relevant for the entire region, concluded Magar.”

National Institute of Anthropology and History | Mexico | International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property |

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