In March of 2007, the Cultural Heritage Center sponsored the first of four regional workshops on topics relating to the protection of cultural resources from looting and illicit trafficking. These are undertaken with the support of U.S. Embassies, as well as ministries of culture and NGOs in the host countries. In collaboration with the Organization of American States (OAS), the first workshop was convened in Mexico City, and hosted by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). About 35 professionals from the museum, legal, conservation, and cultural heritage fields from Mexico, Central America, and the Dominican Republic gathered for three days at the National Museum of Anthropology to exchange experiences and effective practices in defending cultural heritage.
In April of 2008, the second regional workshop was convened in Medellín, Colombia, focusing on case studies in heritage protection in the Andean region. About 35 professionals from the fields associated with cultural heritage from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru gathered to share their successes and challenges in protecting their own and each other’s heritage.
One of the findings of the Andean regional meeting was the need for focused training in heritage site security. In response, the Center co-sponsored a training program for 35 Colombian site managers, curators, and archivists, which was held at the University of Antioquia in Medellín in March 2009. Colombia’s Ministry of Culture, the University of Antioquia, the City of Medellin, and the Centro Colombo-Americano (Colombian-U.S. binational cultural center) also participated and provided support.
A third regional workshop in this series took place in June 2009 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, for cultural heritage and law enforcement officials from Central America, Mexico, and the U.S. A fourth workshop, held in July 2009 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, brought together heritage and law enforcement officials from Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States.
Learn more about the U.S. Department of State's Cultural Heritage Center.