Cultural heritage training is launched

23 April 2010

BP on behalf of its co-venturers in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) projects is pleased to announce the launch of a cultural heritage training. The event is the capacity building component of the cultural heritage programme being implemented along the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey pipeline corridor since March 2008. 

The training sessions are led by a group of international experts including scientists from the US-based Smithsonian Institution, the Arizona University and the National Museum in Berlin. Participants in the event are some 43 representatives of the Gobustan State Historical-Artistic Reserve, the Azerbaijan Institute of Archaeology and the Georgian National Museum. 

The training will last two days and will focus on a range of topics covering assessment methodologies, collection and conservation techniques. 

The training was preceded by a two-day workshop aimed at providing an opportunity for the experts involved in the BTC/SCP archaeological research programmes to analyze and interpret the BTC/SCP findings in a manner consistent with the international practice. During the event the experts also highlighted the cultural significance of the BTC/SCP archaeological findings and the archaeology of the Caucasus region in general for the history of the world civilization. 

“We are pleased to see that our commitments to cultural heritage capacity building, awareness raising and education are being fulfilled. We believe the programme will enhance good relationship with the archaeological communities both nationally and internationally and will contribute to the development of the archaeological science of the Caucasus region.” says Seymour Khalilov, BP’s Vice-President, Communications and External Affairs. 
The BTC/SCP Cultural Heritage Programme in Azerbaijan and Georgia is implemented by the Smithsonian Institution. In addition to the capacity building element, the programme has a public outreach component that will be implemented via a number of activities. These include: 

– publication of 1000 copies of a catalogue on the cultural heritage programme and on the artefacts discovered in the three countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey) along the BTC/SCP route. The catalogue will be published in four languages: Azerbaijani, Georgian, Turkish and English; 
– creation of a dedicated website that will describe the BTC/SCP Cultural Heritage Programme and introduce the artefacts discovered in the three countries along the BTC/SCP pipelines in an interactive way which will be accessible to the broad public. 

The total value of the programme is just over $1 million and its duration is about three years. 
Note to Editors: 

 BTC and SCP sponsored in Azerbaijan and Georgia the first major archaeological excavation programme since the fall of the Soviet Union; 
  • the BTC/SCP archaeological research programme coverage grew from 4 to 54 (archaeological) sites - a considerable challenge and undertaking by BP and its co-venturers in BTC and SCP ;
  • significant scientific knowledge was gained from the research work conducted at the cultural heritage sites across the three countries, some of them have national and regional significance;
  • a large number of priceless artefacts have been collected and they will be stored, studied and preserved for future generations;
  • the BTC/SCP archaeological research programme brought together national and international experts who shared experience advancing relevant scientific methodology in Azerbaijan and Georgia; .
  • significant capacity development has been achieved in the area of museum curatorship.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum and research complex. It includes 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park. The total number of artefacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian's collections is estimated at 137 million. The bulk of this material - more than 126 million specimens and artefacts - is part of the National Museum of Natural History. In addition, the Smithsonian maintains 1.5 million library volumes, including rare books and 89,000 cubic feet of archival material. 

For further information please contact:
Tamam Bayatly, BP Baku Press office, telephone:      994 (0) 12 599 4557