29 June, Berlin – DOC Research Institute, an independent international think tank, commemorated one year since its launch in Berlin with a panel discussion involving influential cultural dignitaries from Europe, the Middle East and Asia to talk about critical issues relating to the protection of cul-tural heritage around the world.
Panellists included His Excellency Mahmood Al-Mullakhalaf, Ambassador Permanent Delegate of Iraq to UNESCO; Monica Juneja, Professor of Global Art History at the University of Heidelberg’s ‘Asia and Europe’ research cluster; Professor Markus Hilgert, Director of the Berlin State Museum of Middle-Eastern Art; Irina Nikitina, Director of the Musical Olympus Foundation; Stephen Sten-ning, Director of Culture and Development at the British Council, and participating via video link was Professor Piotrovsky, Director of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. Martina Fuchs, Anchor for CNN Money, led the discussion.
Vladimir Yakunin, Chairman of the Board of DOC Research Institute, said:
“As we commentate our first year since launching in Berlin, we could not pick a more suitable topic to discuss than culture and cultural heritage. Every day through culture, the world discovers com-mon values. Of course fundamental disagreements remain, but in culture at least we can be united. And at this time, when there is so much that divides us, it is more important than ever to remind ourselves of what can bring us together.”
The discussion covered issues ranging from the need for a coordinated global effort to protect cul-tural sites around the world, to the role that academic research and education can play in driving awareness as well as how new digital technologies can increasingly support the protection, as well as accessibility, of the world’s cultural heritage. The message of the Roundtable was very clear:
Research, understanding, and – vitally – coordination, are essential to the international community’s response to heritage in danger.