Two years ago, the idea of a joint project focused on disaster risk management in written cultural heritage arose. A consortium of experts from Italy, Romania and Slovakia, who came into contact with each other in recent years, was gradually formed. Observation of this problem and numerous interviews and have highlighted the need to educate and train cultural heritage professionals and staff in skills to prevent the risk of heritage damage, as well as best practice training for disasters potentially damaging cultural heritage. Several programs and institutions are involved worldwide in similar activities, but there is a lack of a unified concept at European level to help memory and collection institutions with this complex issue. In addition, it was found that there is no developed methodology for the written cultural heritage that would address this issue. At the same time it should be recalled that this part of the cultural heritage in particular is one of the most endangered.
The Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, in addition to a number of other fields of study and programs, also focuses on preservation of materials and heritage objects at master and doctoral study. A substantial part of the teaching and research is carried out at the Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology and at the Faculty of Architecture and design, specifically Institute of History and Theory of Architecture and Monument Restoration, which are complemented by activities of other university institutes and our partners from memory and research institutions. In these programs, it educates experts – conservation scientists, who after graduation should begin to competently address the protection of objects and materials of heritage in memory and fund institutions. Focusing on protection prevention and disaster risk management helps to further increase the professional competence of graduates, but it will mainly bring benefits to stakeholders who already appreciate that this topic has opened up at the European level and that it will help unify approaches to this issue.
The Slovak University of Technology is proud of the heritage of our ancestors and at the same time its researchers and teachers are aware of the limits of the durability of the tangible cultural heritage. Their offers its scientific research base for research, survey and identification, development and implementation of technologies, methods and strategies for the effective protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Participation in the SafeCult project is another piece in the puzzle, which should help to better protect the objects and materials of the heritage of the entire European population. This is our ambitious goal, which we firmly believe we will achieve with the support of our partners.