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“Project Management for Cultural Heritage Managers” workshop

The three-day online workshop on “Project Management for Cultural Heritage Managers” took place from 9 to 11 December 2022.

12 cultural heritage managers from Asia (Lebanon, Nepal, Turkey), Europe (France, Greece) and Africa (Libya, Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa) received training on the skills needed to become a well-organised project manager.

During all three days of the workshop the participants, through the lectures given by the workshop trainer Tim Healing and their active participation in individual and group exercises, were introduced to the process of managing a successful project from the beginning, the planning and implementation phases through to closure. Because each project is different and encounters unique problems, effective project managers must be thoughtful, flexible and communicative. As such, the training helped participants understand how to ensure that their project is completed on time, with the desired quality and within budget, with proper planning and tight control. Participants learned about the importance of planning and how to define the scope of their own project, how to use tools such as the work breakdown structure, critical path diagram and Gantt chart to ensure the success of the project.


Introducing our new academic certificate: DIGITAL TOOLS ECTS

HERITΛGE is happy to announce its new academic certificate, DIGITAL TOOLS FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE, in cooperation with Belgium’s HOGENT University. The certificate is a one-semester, part-time European Credit (ECTS) bearing program aimed at students as well as professionals. It integrates heritage management with geomatics and is delivered online to enable students from around the world to join. 

Upon completion of the course, participants are awarded 30 ECTS credits that correspond to 50% of the academic credits for a full year. The program held its first, pilot run this past autumn semester and is now accepting applications for the academic year 2023-2024 (starting October 2023). 

Digital Tools for Heritage Management is a specialized course on spatial data (GIS), laser scanning, 3D modeling, heritage management, and community management. 3 months of online, mainly asynchronous classes (and some live ones) are rounded off with fieldwork which is focused on the entire workflow from data acquisition to data publication.

HERITΛGE & HOGENT decided to offer this comprehensive program, to answer the needs of students and young professionals from a variety of heritage-related or adjacent disciplines e.g., architecture, land surveying, archaeology, heritage management, conservation, geography etc. 

The focus on state-of-the-art technological skills,  as well as on international collaboration, communication, and other future-proofing skills sets this Digital Tools Certificate apart and ensures its relevance to the current and future job markets. 

Find out more and apply here   

HERITΛGE 2nd visit to The Gambia

58 heritage professionals trained, MOUs signed, meetings held with stakeholders 

Heritage Management Organization (HERITΛGE) Director, Dr. Evanghelos Kyriakidis, and HERITΛGE instructor Dr. Eleni Stefanou visited The Gambia on 24th November – 4th December to hold training workshops and meetings with stakeholders for the HerMaP Gambia program aimed at strengthening the country’s heritage sector.

58 heritage professionals were trained during in-person workshops on Community Engagement and Oral History. Oral History is a topic of specific interest to The Gambia’s heritage sector as the country is notably rich in cultural heritage conveyed orally from generation to generation.

Dr. Kyriakidis held a number of meetings with stakeholders, including General Assembly member, Omar Jammeh, National Centre for Arts and Culture Director General, Hassoum Ceesay, representatives of the Gambia Tourism Board, as well as representatives of the Youth Chamber of Commerce.

“The Gambia’s rich heritage is an incredible resource; at HERITΛGE we are very proud to be contributing to the country’s development by training local heritage managers, giving them the necessary tools to engage with and empower local communities,” said Kyriakidis.

Acknowledging the value of partnerships, HERITΛGE’s Director also signed MoUs with the Wassu Stone Circles Tour Guides Association and the Juffureh Albreda Youths Society, aimed at deepening and building upon HerMaP initiatives in The Gambia.

Finally, HERITΛGE had the opportunity to visit sites of cultural importance such as Kunta Kinteh Island, the Wassu Stone Circles, and the Geniere Cultural Museum among others, and to briefly attend the first day of the annual Niumi Fort Bullen Festival celebrating traditional arts and culture.

About HerMaP Gambia: The program is aimed at developing the business skills of heritage and cultural managers to enable them to establish and better support heritage and cultural enterprises. Supporting The Gambia’s heritage sector will promote community solidarity and provide high-quality employment opportunities for local talent. The program is co-financed by the European Union with funding partly matched by the UN Economic Commission for Africa. It is being realized in partnership with the NCAC.

How Benin works to reveal its cultural and natural heritage

By Maria Kagkelidou, Press & Communication at HERITΛGE

A recent piece in The Guardian argued that coastal west Africa will shape the rest of the 21st century. It pointed out that in the next 80 years Africa will be home to 40% of the world’s population and that nowhere is this breakneck pace of development happening faster than the 600-mile stretch between Abidjan and Lagos.

The opportunities and challenges posed by these developments were visible during a recent HERITΛGE mission to Benin, one of the fast-developing countries along this coast, and a country that has placed its cultural and natural heritage at the forefront of its development efforts.

President Talon’s government, flanked by international organisations (the African Union, United Nations, European Union, the World Bank etc.), foreign agencies for international cooperation led by those of France, and investors, Benin is pursuing a national plan to upgrade its infrastructure and enhance its productive base called Bénin Révélé.

One of the main pillars of this ambitious program is developing the country’s culture and tourism sectors using the country’s rich natural and cultural heritage as a springboard. The former includes Benin’s sacred forests and Pendjari and W park, the “richest animal natural park in West Africa” according to government literature. This natural heritage is rounded off by mile-upon-mile of tropical coastline, which the government would like to see dotted with tourist developments and visitors from far-away lands.

Concerning cultural heritage, the recent creation of a striking landmark, the Amazon Statue erected in the busy port city of Cotonou, is one of the most visible and well-publicised efforts to build on Benin’s rich history and traditions. The statue, on Amazon Esplanade, honors the women-warriors of the Kingdom of Dahomey. Its revelation took place at the same time as the women-warriors were introduced to global audiences through the Hollywood movie First Woman.

The Kingdom of Dahomey with the World Heritage Site of its kings’ palaces in Abomey, the country’s painful heritage as a center for the slave trade visible in Ouidah, its rich Vodun religious heritage, and colonial remains such as its quaint capital, Porto Novo, are just some of the attractions Benin wants to reveal to the world in 2024, following a period of intense preparations.

Upbeat and frenetically paced, this effort appeared to our team to be enjoying great support among the Beninois, around two-thirds of whom are under 25 years old. But it is not without challenges.

The first one concerns cultural heritage itself. Amid the breakneck speed of development local archaeologists, conservation, and culture professionals are trying their best to ensure this heritage is not trampled over, for example by the ever-expanding and much-anticipated road construction projects. The second and more worrying challenge is the spillover of Africa’s worsening Islamist insurgency from neighboring countries into Benin’s north. Currently, the much-feted natural park in the north is out of bounds for tourists, with some foreign governments advising their nationals against all travel to the region. The threat is limited geographically and does not affect the country’s coastal regions but is concerning.

With renewed strategic efforts to engage the north’s border communities and a consistent focus on conserving and managing the country’s immense heritage amid the explosion of economic activity, transnational cooperation and possibly international assistance on security challenges, Benin’s hard work can deliver growth, quality employment and education opportunities, along with better living standards for its young, enthusiastic, and hard-working population.

SHIFT – Cultural Heritage transformation project kicks off under Horizon Europe


HERITΛGE is happy to announce its participation in a major new Research and Innovation Action (RIA) that held its kick off meeting on 18 and 19 October.

SHIFT: MetamorphoSis of cultural Heritage Into augmented hypermedia assets For enhanced accessibiliTy and inclusion supports the adoption of digital transformation strategies and the uptake of tools within the creative and cultural industries (CCI), where progress has been lagging.

The SHIFT consortium brings together 13 world-leading research, industrial and SME organisations, coordinated by SIMAVI (Romania), with the vision to strengthen the impact of cultural heritage assets. It will increase the appeal of historical artefacts, improving their accessibility and usability for everyone through better content representation, enriched user experiences, inclusive design, training and more engaging business models

The project is strategically conceived to deliver, by advancing beyond the state-of-the-art, a set of loosely coupled technological tools that offers cultural heritage institutions (CHI) the impetus to stimulate growth and communicate new experiences to all citizens (including people with disabilities) by embracing the latest technological innovations in

  • artificial intelligence
  • machine learning
  • multi-modal data processing
  • digital content transformation methodologies
  • semantic representation
  • linguistic analysis of historical records
  • the use of haptics interfaces


Among its other key results will be: tools and algorithms to revitalize historical and cultural high-value content; enhanced preservation of historical archives using contemporary language models; contribution to international standards to exchange metadata models with cultural institutions and copyright protection of content ownership

SHIFT outcomes will target B2B user groups including CHI (archives, libraries, museums), digital content creators, entertainment and the haptics Industry, as well as end users such as museum visitors, web communities and vulnerable groups.

AGILE project planning will adopt a cyclic approach to engage with stakeholder communities and establish a continuous evaluation methodology, while developing several use cases and demonstrations. SHIFT’s dissemination and communication strategies will promote wide-scale adoption of its results across the cultural and creative industries. Plans for future exploitation will focus on making use of contemporary business model approaches for SHIFT and its components.

The full list of partners is:
– Software Imagination & Vision (SIMAVI) – Romania
– Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH) – Greece
– Massive Dynamic –Sweden
– Audeering – Germany
– University of Augsburg – Germany
– Queen Mary University of London – UK
– Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum – Semmelweis Orvostörténeti Múzeum – Hungary
– The National Association of Public Librarians and Libraries in Romania (ANBPR)
– Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz – Germany
– The Balkan Museum Network – Bosnia and Herzegovina
– The Heritage Management Organization (HERITAGE) – Greece
– Eticas Research and Consulting – Spain
– German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted – Germany

HERITΛGE will be focusing on communicating the project, spreading knowledge, strengthening cross-project collaborations, producing targeted communications materials all the while specifically targeting stakeholder markets.

SHIFT is funded under work programme HORIZON-CL2-2021-HERITAGE-01-04 (RIA): Preserving and enhancing cultural heritage with advanced digital technologies.

For more information please contact [email protected] or [email protected].

Project Management Workshop in Benin

27 Heritage Managers take part in a 3-day Project Management Workshop in Benin

Heritage managers from Cotonou, Porto Novo, Abomey-Calavi, Parakou, Ouake, and beyond, took part in the Heritage Management Organization’s (HERITΛGE) first in-person workshop in Benin. The “Project Management for Heritage Managers” workshop took place at the École du Patrimoine Africain (EPA) in Porto Novo on 24-26 October under instructor Dr. Matina Magkou.

The workshop was attended by heritage managers from a variety of stakeholders, including the Ministry of Tourism, Cultura and the Arts, the Ministry for Quality of Life and Sustainable Development, the Ministry for the Environment, the University of Abomey-Calavim, the Universite of Lomé, the School of African Heritage, de la culture et des arts, the Ministère du Cadre de Vie et du Développement Durable, the Ministère de l’Environnement,, the Université d Abomey Calavi, the Université de Lomé, the École du Patrimoine Africain, the Diocesan Cell of Religious Heritage in Porto Novo, the Institute of Cultural Affairs of Benin (ICA BENIN), the NGO Young Rural People of Benin, Émergence Consulting Plus, and the Architectural Firm K2ai.

Dr. Emery Patrick Effiboley, Head of the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Abomey-Calavi addressed the workshop attendees on the first day.

“It is an honor to have so many Beninese heritage managers here. We have noted that Benin and you are working hard and effectively to make this country a beacon for the region when it comes to heritage issues, and we hope that with this workshop we will give you more tools to succeed,” HERITΛGE’s Maria Kagkelidou told attendees.

The “Project Management for Heritage Managers” workshop was delivered in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the kind assistance of EPA.

About HerMaP Benin: The program is delivered in cooperation with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and aims to develop the business skills of heritage managers in order to enable them to better support the heritage and cultural sectors to further promote economic growth in Benin. The heritage sector can enhance community solidarity and provide high-quality employment opportunities for Benin’s workforce.

About HERITΛGE: The Heritage Management Organization (HERITΛGE) was established in 2008 to enable key heritage managers to independently transform heritage assets into dynamic sources of learning, community, identity, and economic development through targeted training. We train professionals in the management of heritage sites, independently of project specifics. HERITΛGE has trained hundreds of individuals and organizations in over 90 countries and is on course to impact a quarter of global heritage hotspots by the year 2025.

More information: please contact [email protected]

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