Cultural Heritage without Borders
Cultural Heritage without Borders is an independent organization based in Sweden dedicated to rescuing and preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage touched by conflict, neglect or human and natural disasters. We see our work as a vital contribution to building democracy and supporting human rights. CHwB is neutral when it comes to conflicting parties, but not to the rights of all people to their cultural heritage.
The work have started in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996, in 2001 in Kosovo, and in time, CHwB has extended its activities in all the countries of the Western Balkans including more specific country projects in Montenegro, Serbia and Albania. Parallel to conservation works, CHwB has initiated a creation of two important regional networks in the Balkans: (1) The Museum Development Network, which brings together the different national museums in the Balkans through joint programs; and (2) the SEE Heritage Network of NGO’s, which brings together the main local NGO’s working in the field of cultural heritage in the Balkans through joint initiatives.
The vision of Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB) is that cultural heritage is a natural and active part in reconciliation, social and economic development and in the strengthening of human rights.
The cooperation in Albania started back in 2006. Learning about Albanian heritage together and from our local partners, we have realized that the Albanian national heritage can be used as an important generator for income. However there was a need for the development of professional knowledge regarding the maintenance and management of the national heritage. The Albanian Government prioritizes the protection of cultural heritage as well as its promotion and has emphasized the importance of cultural heritage in several official documents.
CHwB is currently working in Albania through program “Gjirokastra 2009 – 2011” in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth, and Sports, the Institute of Monuments of Culture, as well as local authorities and local NGO’s. This project is focused on restoration and training in the UNESCO protected zone of Gjirokastra, where two national monuments (19th century residential buildings which were completely abandoned) will be fully restored by the end of 2011. Furthermore, the two buildings will also be revitalized through new functions (a youth hostel, exhibition space, and library) that will provide the owners with the right economic incentives to manage and maintain the houses. On the other hand, through this project, the buildings are also serving as a training field for CHwB’s Regional Restoration Camps which are held in Gjirokastra each year for young professionals and students, in cooperation with our academic partners: Royal University of Architecture in Stockholm, the London School of Architecture, POLIS University, etc.
The cooperation in Albania is financed by the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency and to a lesser extent by Packard Humanities Institute through Gjirokastra Conservation and Development Agency (GCDO).
The program is still ongoing, however, financial means implemented so far are approximately 350.000,00 EUR.
You can find more information on “Cultural Heritage without Border” on the website: www.chwb.org, address: Sabbatsbergsvägen 6, 113 21 Stockholm, Sweden, Tel: + 46 (0) 8-32 20 71, + 46 (0) 8-32 20 72, + 355 69 4037 087 (Albania), Fax + 46 (0) 8-32 20 71, e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org