As wars and conflicts rage, the last thing that the combatants think about is saving cultural heritage, unless it is to steal it or purposely destroy it.
When reconstruction comes, cultural heritage is crucial in reconnecting communities and people with their past and their identities for the future. The UK’s £30 million Cultural Protection Fund is a drop in the ocean compared to the £billions being splashed around on Brexit but enables the UK to play a crucial role in supporting organisations who are working to protect cultural heritage at risk of destruction in areas of conflict and war, support existing traditional crafts and train a new generation of architects, engineers, project managers, designers and craftsmen and women and assist with exporting their work outside their home countries, while also bring in new technologies – blending the past with the future. Many of these trainees are women who, especially when so many men have been killed in conflict, have new economic responsibilities and new aspirations
This small, but fascinating exhibition in the reception of the British Council offices, hidden away near Trafalgar Square, provides an insight into the valuable work supported by the Cultural Protection Fund, which almost goes un-noticed.