The two-year training programme “Stewards of Cultural Heritage” is intended for Syrian experts (archaeologists, architects and curators of monuments) who fled to Turkey. The programme is hosted by the Istanbul Office of the German Archaeological Institute and as part of the project “Zero Hour” it is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. The participants receive a fellowship grant from the Gerda Henkel Foundation. The aim is to provide targeted support to fellows in carrying out their own projects and in the preparation of Syria’s reconstruction. Training is given in skills related to the documentation of buildings, to damage assessment and also the planning of possible reconstruction measures. The fellows will try out and apply the acquired skills in carrying out their concrete projects. The German Archaeological Institute’s own project sites and various sites investigated by Turkish and German colleagues will be suitable locations for this purpose.
Numerous Syrian experts in the fields of archaeology, cultural preservation and heritage conservation fled to Turkey. As part of the programme “Stewards of Cultural Heritage” these experts will have the opportunity to continue their academic education and to participate into scientific research and heritage preservation projects in Turkey. At the same time they will be supported by training programmes in the fields of heritage preservation and mediation of cultural heritage. The focus is on competence building and the development of strategies related to the phases of consolidation and of preparatory measures for the reconstruction in Syria. Freely chosen projects regarding research and documentation, preservation and mediation of the Syrian cultural heritage are accompanied by language courses , workshops and seminars, in which German, Turkish and international experts offer trainings in relevant fields. There are plans to integrate additional Syrian refugees (craftsmen, unskilled workers) into concrete projects related to specific monuments. In this way, a primarily Syrian team will be created in Turkey, which in the future will become involved in their home country at both the conceptual and the practical level.