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המרכז הבינלאומי לשימור ע”ש העיר רומא הוא מרכז הכשרה למקצועות השימור בישראל הפועל מטעם רשות העתיקות. במרכז מתארחים אנשי מקצוע, חוקרים וסטודנטים מישראל והעולם העוסקים בפרקטיקת השימור,  וכן קהל רחב המעוניין בהעשרה בתחום המורשת.

בין פעילויותיו מציע המרכז מגוון תכניות הכשרה ופעילויות העשרה בתחום שימור המורשת הבנויה אשר כוללות לימוד תיאורטי והתנסות מעשית. הפעילויות מותאמות לקהלים שונים ומתקיימות לאורך כל השנה.

המרכז ממוקם בעכו העתיקה – עיר מורשת עולם, המהווה מעבדה חיה ללימוד ולהתנסות במעשה השימור, ושוכן במבנה מרהיב, בן שתי קומות מן המאה ה- 19 בקרבת החומה הדרומית של עכו העתיקה המשקיפה על מפרץ חיפה.

 The Center

As Israel’s premier Institute of Technical Conservation and Historic Preservation, the International Conservation Center – Città di Roma, established in 2005, serves as a place of study for researchers, students, and emerging professionals from Israel and abroad, providing them with unrivaled hands-on conservation experience and field work, taught by professional conservators, architects, archaeologists, and specialists of the Israel Antiquities Authority.  Courses, workshops, and other programs reflect and feature Acre’s rich cultural heritage, and encourage economic development for the city’s residents.  Situated in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old City of Acre, Israel, the Center is granted intimate access to a veritable living laboratory for the study and application of practical heritage conservation within the historic living city.

The Center operates as a division of the Israel Antiquities Authority under the direct supervision of the Conservation Department.    The continued development of the Center is due to fruitful cooperation between the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Cultural Ministry of the Italian Government. In 2009 under the patronage of then Mayor of Rome, Giovanni Alemanno, the Center was the recipient of the prestigious “Dan David” award to commemorate the Italian activities in San Giovanni di Acre during the Middle Ages.  This partnership provides the Center access to renowned Italian conservation specialists.

Acre is an historic port city on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and is home to remains of world cultures including the Hellenistic, Roman, Mamluk, Crusaders, Ottoman Empire, and the British Mandate.

What’s in a name?  Historically the city of Acre has been called by many names: Ptolemais, St. Jean D’Acre, Acre, Akka, and Akko for which the modern city is currently named.

 The Campus

The building of the International Conservation Center is situated on the southern edge of the Old City of Acre, next to the city wall, in a building that offers remarkable views of Haifa Bay.   It is a spacious, two-storey, 19th century residence, with an area of 1,000 square meters. The building’s massive pillars and impressive supporting vaults, suggest that part of the structure may date back to the Crusader Period, when this sector formed part of the autonomous Pisan Quarter.

Historic photograph of the Center's campus building (1944)

Historic photograph of the Center’s campus building (1944)

The upper floor, which once housed one of the wealthy families of Acre, is replete with architectural elements typical of a Lebanese house, a central hall plan, where the rooms open to face a central salon, which is decorated with marble floors, pillars and decorative wooden ceilings. In recent decades, the building housed a youth hostel, later vacated.

Neglect and improper use have damaged the structure and its special features. Various training programs focus on practical and artistic conservation of architectural elements in the building itself.