Our Mission

Our Mission

The preservation of cultural heritage is one of the grand challenges of the contemporary world. The goal of the consortium is to enable the global university, education, and research community to make a transformative contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage, through broad educational programs, major collaborative research initiatives, and effective engagement and advocacy.

Upcoming Events

The Global Consortium for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (GCPCH) is a network of universities, museums and research institutes premised on the understanding that the preservation of cultural heritage is one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. By creating a space for conversation, knowledge exchange, and project incubation, members from across disciplines, geographies, and socio-political contexts engage in a collaborative strategy to strengthen education and training, research, and advocacy for cultural heritage, broadly conceived. The Consortium maximizes the collective opportunity to make a global impact in the preservation of cultural heritage. GCPCH does not seek to replicate the outstanding work of formal agencies and NGO’s dedicated to this work across a multitude of specialized disciplines and practices; on the contrary – the network functions as a global amplifier for regional or national efforts, and a pathway by which diverse expertise can connect and spark innovation.

The network is coordinated by a steering committee, and new members are welcome to its monthly online meetings at any time. The annual GCPCH meetings are hosted once a year, on a rotating basis, with the intention of spotlighting cultural leadership in different countries or regions, while also acknowledging broader global contexts. 

Cultural heritage is constantly in flux, revised and created on a daily basis as humans represent their world and experiences through making across time and space. As such, art in any form is a uniquely powerful tool in capturing the spirit of a time, it expresses human aspirations, it empowers civic expression, archives and comments on events surrounding the creator and it speaks to a brighter future. Cultural heritage however does not belong only to professional makers, nor does it live only in galleries and museums. Rather, creative expression lives within and around us all and makes visible histories, belief systems, values, traditions, and lifestyles.  Artists in search of new creative forms of all kinds have sought inspiration from cultural heritage. Whether incorporating ancient motifs in a new building design, writing a new poem about a heritage site, or riffing off a fairy tale to plot a new play, cultural heritage fuels creativity, and in so doing, there is a certain preservation of the past for the present…and the future.

University of Pretoria is honored to host this Fourth Annual Meeting of the Global Consortium for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage in October 2021.  As the first meeting on African soil, UP hopes to inject some of its unique perspectives into the global conversation.  

The onset of COVID-19 upset our plans for a meeting in Pretoria in October 2020, but the steering committee saw this as an ideal opportunity to start with some meaningful projects this year and use a 2021 meeting as the culmination and feedback session for these projects.

For us it is important to narrow the discussion to some specific topics and try to emerge from the meeting with some definite resolutions and action plans.

The projects currently identified are:

Project 1: AcCESS - Academic Conservation Education Sharing Site

Project 2: Connecting artifacts in the Northern Hemisphere with their communities in the Southern Hemisphere

Project 3: An investigation on the impact of COVID-19 on Heritage Training and Student outcomes in Africa

Project 4: A peer-reviewed literature repository for expert knowledge

Project 5: Survey on conservation related topics in PhD theses

Project 6: Survey on impact of COVID-19 protocols on traditional and cultural practices of communities

Project 7: Update the 2016 white paper with what has happened since, including the current COVID-19 situation.

Project 8: Video based communications

Project 9: Masters dissertation topic survey

The output for most of these projects would be published research, but it is envisaged that the learnings may reach further, especially where communities are involved.

Global Consortium Steering Committee

Anupam Sah

CSMVS Mumbai

Stefan Simon

Rathgen-Forschungslabor

Krassimira Frangova

Royal Danish Academy for Fine Arts

Ivan Selin

Smithsonian and Yale

Michael Mason

Smithsonian Institution

Kristine Juncker 

Smithsonian Institution

Christine Kreamer

Smithsonian Institution

Dana Moffett

Smithsonian Institution

Florian Knothe

The University of Hong Kong

Karin Weil

Universidad Austral de Chile       

Mary Cassar

University College, London

Maartje Stols-Witlox

University of Amsterdam

Susan Keitumetse

University of Botswana

Maggi Loubser

University of Pretoria (chair)

Alexander Johnson

University of Pretoria (director 2021 meeting)

Isabelle McGinn

University of Pretoria

Marinda Maree

University of Pretoria

Tor Broström

Uppsala Universität

Alison Gilchrest

Yale University

Denise Lim

Yale University

Global Consortium Steering Committee

At present, GCPCH organizers are planning a hybrid format that combines an in-person convening with a live broadcast and recorded sessions to extend the reach of the conference to people who would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend.

Format of the 2021 meeting

The organising committee plans to draw from local artist communities and give voices that are usually not heard the opportunity to participate and provide their insights.