Project Anqa Final report
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
Written on 24 May 2019.
ICOMOS is releasing its final report on Project Anqa which seeks to preserve endangered cultural heritage sites in Syria through their digitalization using state of the art technology, build capacity in the region, promote the transfer of knowledge and create permanent architectural inventory units.
The project resulted in the creation of a web platform which includes virtual tours of 7 endangered heritage sites along with comprehensive data on the sites.
Project Anqa which means “phoenix” in Arabic is a joint initiative of ICOMOS, the non-profit organization CyArk, the Carleton University Immersive Media Studio and Yale University’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH).
The project began in 2015 in response to the catastrophic loss of cultural heritage in the Middle East and is funded by the Arcadia Fund, a UK grant-making fund whose mission is to protect endangered culture and nature.
The project started in Syria, in partnership with the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM), and has documented seven sites located in Damascus that illustrate the architectural variety of historic buildings in the ancient city.
Although Project Anqa’s partners faced challenges to overcome, the project still successfully reached its goal of creating an online web platform with 3D scans and comprehensive data in open access on built heritage at risk in Syria. Teams from different countries effectively worked together, and the training allowed to build capacity in the region. With the exposure the project has received, it will hopefully serve as an example to inspire future similar projects that seek to preserve endangered cultural heritage.