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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Engaging communities in managing the tomb of Amenhotep III at the World Heritage site in Luxor | UNESCO

Engaging communities in managing the tomb of Amenhotep III at the World Heritage site in Luxor

Empowering Engagement: Unveiling Amenhotep III's Legacy through Community Workshops

Within the framework of the project Conservation of the Wall Paintings of the Royal Tomb of Amenhotep III (KV22) in Luxor under the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust, UNESCO Regional Office in Cairo supported three workshops to enhance community engagement in the management of the Tomb at the World Heritage site in Luxor. Effective community participation is vital to enhance long-term sustainable heritage management. The following workshops contributed to strengthening existing working relationships with the local community nurtured under the previous phases of the project. The vital role of women archaeologists and conservators was highlighted to celebrate International Women's Day. 

Workshop for Youth: Amenhotep III Collection in Youth Hands (Luxor Museum, 7 March 2024)

The Luxor Museum on the east bank of the River Nile displayed many movable cultural objects with significant values excavated from the temples and archaeological sites nearby, including the items relating to Amenhotep III. A workshop for Youth held at the Luxor Museum provided training for university students and young museum professionals in effective museum communication.

The workshop began with the opening remarks by the Luxor Museum, Luxor University representative and the UNESCO Regional Office in Cairo, underlining the importance of site museums for heritage preservation. This was followed by the presentation of the Egyptian conservators working on the conservation works at the Tomb KV 22. Under the guidance of the Japanese archaeological mission and the conservators at the Luxor Museum, 50 participants were then engaged in a group activity to develop a new scenario connecting the items related to the Amenhotep III at the Museum.

Each group identified the relevant items, took photos, and wrote descriptions to develop a new trail at the Museum. The outcomes of their exercise were located on the museum map and posted on the dedicated Facebook page. This activity allowed them to re-curate the Amenhotep III collection at the Museum from a youth perspective, leading to recommendations for alternative presentations.

H.E. Ambassador Oka joined the final presentation and closing session. He congratulated them on their excellent work that could contribute to the ongoing Amenhotep III project, reiterating the importance of Egyptian heritage as a foundation of the identity of young people representing the future.

Youth Workshop
Workshop for youth

Workshop for Community: Women in Archaeology and Conservation (Waseda House, 8 March 2024)

A Workshop for Community provided an opportunity for sharing information on the project's progress and the pivotal role of women professionals as a contribution to the celebration of International Women's Day (8 March) under the 2024 annual theme "Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress".

Welcoming the participants, the representative of the UNESCO Regional Office in Cairo praised the project's progress, acknowledged the project team's invaluable contribution working hand in hand with the Egyptian authorities, and reiterated UNESCO's commitment to gender equality and empowerment of women as its global priority.

The panel of national and international experts then shared their experience pursuing heritage-related professions in diverse areas ranging from archaeology, conservation science, Egyptology, art history, education, tourism, intercultural communication, journalism, photography, and cultural policy. The discussions centred around challenges they faced in terms of access to education and training, work-life balance, and social norms and how they coped with them. The KV 22 project team reported the participation of an increased number of Egyptian women specialists in the current phase. UNESCO representative mentioned the Arab Women in Science Platform, recently established in partnership with the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) to connect, share experiences, and access career-enhancing programmes while addressing gender stereotypes in science and advocating for gender transformative policies and open science.  

This was followed by a group activity to draw missing pieces of the mural paintings in the Tomb for "Pop-up exhibits", a new form of cultural event that could be organized in an unconventional public space to create an experience to reach out to new audiences and wider communities to get the message through.

--   Sent from my Linux system.

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