The third edition of the “Awareness Raising Seminar on the Protection of Cultural Heritage”, organized by Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, took place on 9-10 May 2019. The sessions of the seminars organized at the Fındıklı Campus of the University hosted many representatives from different sectors and occupations including, academicians, as well as students; non-governmental organizations; local governments; artists and artisans. The UCLG-MEWA Committee on Culture and Tourism also took part in the program.

Organized by the students of the Department of Art History at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Seminar sought to preserve and maintain the continues history ongoing from the period of Osman Hamdi Bey, the founder of the university and the first modern museologist of the Ottoman Empire. In this way, the event further aimed to create social awareness for ensuring the sustainability of the value given to the cultural heritage sustainable. The first day of the program started with the opening speech of Prof. Dr. Handan İnci, the Rector of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. In the following sessions, the importance of the promotion of cultural assets, the restoration of movable cultural assets and the main approaches on this issue, the legal dimension of the protection of cultural heritage, and the significance of transferring the cultural heritage to the next generations were among the discussed issues.

On the second day, cultural heritage was evaluated from the perspectives of NGOs and local governments. Participants shared the general situation about the informative elements of museums at local, national and global levels. Then, the artworks of the Istanbul Yenikapı excavation, which dated back to the 8,500 years, and the exhibition of these pieces were discussed and the importance of the region was evaluated.  In another session, participants addressed the importance and contribution of non-governmental organizations to the protection of cultural heritage. During the session mentioned, local projects and studies carried out at the local level were shared by Dr. Architecht Sinan Genim, President of Foundation for the Preservation of Turkey’s Monuments, Environment and Tourism Assets (TAC Foundation); and Prof. Dr. Sümer Atasoy, the Executive Bureau Member of TAC Foundation; and Architecht Alp Arısoy, Urban Studies Coordinator of the Foundation for the Protection and Promotion of the Environment and Cultural Heritage (ÇEKÜL). Thus, within the context of sustainable cultural studies, local studies conducted by NGOs in the fields of civil architecture and culture, environment and gastronomy shed light on interdisciplinary interaction.

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