After two weeks full of lectures, practical works and study tours in the rich ensemble of cultural heritage of Kosovo, the 32nd Regional Restoration Camp concluded successfully. Organized by Cultural Heritage without Borders Albania, in cooperation with the Museum of Kosovo, the Camp attracted 25 students and young professionals from the Western Balkans that were trained by international experts on “conservation and interpretation of museum objects”.
Participants in this restoration camp followed lectures on: conservation and revitalization of museum objects and theories and exercises of heritage interpretation. Their practical work was focused in museum objects from stone, ceramics, metal and textile.
Mirian Bllaci, coordinator of the 32nd Regional Restoration Camp, expressed his satisfaction with the cooperation with the Museum of Kosovo. He also pointed out the important contribution that the Regional Restoration Camps can give in providing the highest standards for boosting the knowledge necessary for accurate and sustainable preservation of cultural heritage. He highlighted that the main objectives of the Regional Restoration Camps—to use cultural heritage to build relations among young professionals, create conditions for reconciliation as a prerequisite for democracy, and to preserve traditional crafts and techniques—were fulfilled through the 32nd Regional Restoration Camp.
“It was the first time that the restoration camp traveled to Prishtina. We were in total harmony with the Museum of Kosovo. We had a lot of visitors and the support of the local media. Besides the restoration works, we had children’s activities, where we worked with the Xhubleta booklet of the ‘E Ka Kush e Ka’ children’s series. We should also mention the installation of the ‘Without light’ exhibition in the museum on October 18, where our camp participants gave their contribution. The participants from 7 countries from the region, including Serbia, came maybe with some prejudices, but left with the best impressions,” said Bllaci.
The Director of the Museum of Kosovo, Skënder Boshtrakaj, highlighted the need to foster such regional cooperation in the field of heritage and museology. “The regional collaboration is crucial for museums. We need to improve the mobility of the exhibitions, of the experts and of the audiences. As for the mobility of experts, the Regional Restoration Camps are already providing their contribution,” he stressed.
For Alexandra Cantrill-Lankester, a conservator with a great experience in British museums, the Camp gave the participants the latest knowledge in conservation of museum objects and interpretation. “Being in a new location at the Museum of Kosovo in Prishtinë is great as we have new spaces and objects to work with, a whole new set of challenges. After 4 years, this camp feels like part of me, and I always look forward to coming to Kosovo and to getting together with the team. Every year we make new friends and experience even more about beautiful Kosovo. The camp allows us to make a real difference to not only the host museum but also to the institutions that the participants have come from. We provide simple and practical advice and skills that they can easily use themselves with readily available materials,” she said.
Camp participants, representing 7 different countries of the Western Balkans, also had a lot of entertainment. With Anisa Mano’s initiative, they presented the best of their culture during a “Cultural Night” activity. Throughout the evening they interacted with their friends, learning more about each other’s culture and traditions. “Cultural Night showcases the cultural diversity at #32RRCPrishtina. More than anything else, our camp participants love to share their culture with everyone else and getting a chance to express their culture,” said Anisa Mano, Prishtina Camp staff. The event was filled with interesting food, drinks, dance shows and other exciting moments, where the participants enjoyed Balkan culture at its best.
For Johan Josefsson, a camp volunteer from Sweden, “CHwB Albania, as always, does a great job for the benefit of the cultural heritage of the region through conservation training and interpretation of heritage. I think they have succeeded again and have found even more creative and interactive ways to communicate this. Everything is well-structured and serious, but playful and fun at the same time.
The 32nd Regional Restoration Camp was organized in partnership with the Museum of Kosovo and CHwB Kosovo and financially supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.