Dr Tobin Hartnell argues that three key ‘gaps’ are threatening cultural heritage: an interest gap, a caring gap, and a skills gap. He suggests that expanding cultural heritage studies beyond universities is a key priority for the future.
After decades of neglect, there is a very active research program for archaeology in the KRG largely led by foreigners. Amongst these foreign projects, there are a few that are specifically designed to strengthen the capacity of existing cultural professionals in the museum and archaeology space. What is missing is support for the next generation of professionals. Traditionally, national and regional governments have supported students financially to gain their education in foreign universities, yet the most effective forms of capacity building will reverse that to emphasize local skills building initiatives and partnerships to bring qualified professionals into the region. This talk will discuss successful models of in-sourcing and consider what has, is, and can be done to support capacity development in the local universities.