On May 19 - 22, 2000, an international group of architects, archaeologists, tourism experts, and governmental authorities met in Loutraki, Greece, near the ancient site of Corinth, for a workshop on archaeological site management planning that was jointly organized by the GCI and Loyola Marymount University.

The workshop addressed conservation challenges facing site managers, conservation professionals, and other stewards of heritage who confront physical, environmental, economic, and social threats to sites. To provide for the long-term preservation of sites in their care, conservation organizations and agencies have experimented with different approaches to planning, utilizing documents such as the Burra Charter as the basis for the development of site management philosophies and methods.

In recent years, the GCI has worked to advance site planning and management by advocating, teaching, and implementing values-driven planning and by undertaking and publishing research regarding values and economics in conservation. In 1995, as part of these efforts, the GCI and the Getty Museum organized an international conference advocating site management planning as a way to conserve and protect the archaeological heritage of the Mediterranean basin.

Building on this experience, the Corinth workshop was held to disseminate management planning concepts, discuss cases from different parts of the world, explore their applicability in the countries of the eastern Mediterranean, and, in so doing, to foster cross-cultural dialogue. The workshop gathered professionals from Albania, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia—as well as GCI staff and planners presenting work from other parts of the world—to discuss current problems of archaeological sites and methods for addressing these problems.

Conservation image
 

Workshop attendees heard presentations on general concepts and a planning model by the GCI, followed by reports on the development and implementation of site management plans at Chan Chan in Peru and at Hadrian's Wall in the United Kingdom (both plans involved the participation of stakeholders and an assessment of the site's cultural significance as central elements of the process). Succeeding days included presentations on major archaeological sites in the eastern Mediterranean and structured small group discussions in which participants could debate and expand on issues emerging from the case studies. Workshop participants also visited the archaeological site at Corinth—guided by Guy Sanders of the American School of Classical Studies—and used the visit as a focus for discussions about the implementation of values-based planning.

The workshop provided an opportunity for GCI staff to contrast a theoretical model with the practical needs of a diverse group of professionals from different countries and disciplines, and for these professionals to compare experiences and advance their thinking regarding the management planning process.

A generous grant received from Yad'Hanadiv—the Rothschild Foundation—helped support the workshop. In addition, the Corinth prefecture, the IV Ephoria of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens generously assisted in the organization of the workshop.

A report on the workshop is being prepared. Information will be available on the GCI Web site.