New research by Benjamin Isakhan, Lynn Meskell, and scholars from Arab Research and Analytics Associates surveyed 1,600 residents in the Syrian city of Aleppo about heritage restoration projects in order to better understand how locals in conflict zones feel about the post-war rebuilding of heritage sites and who should be involved.

The authors highlight four key themes that were identified by the survey, themes which they believe will have important implications for the future of heritage sites:

  • locals don’t want heritage reconstruction to be privileged over security
  • they want local religious sites rebuilt as much as significant non-religious sites
  • they want heritage sites transformed into more useful structures for the community
  • and they want control and agency over the future of their own heritage.

The research has been published in the International Journal of Heritage Studies, with a summary appearing online at The Conversation.

Image of the Great Mosque of Aleppo in 2013, after destruction of the minaret, by Gabriele Fangi, Wissam Wahbeh, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license).

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