The NETCHER – NETwork and digital platform for Cultural Heritage Enhancing and Rebuilding project aims at setting-up an information network and a chart of good practices at European scale, by gathering a maximum numbers of actors engaged in the preservation of cultural heritage. It is funded by the 8th Framework Program of the European Union for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020) and brings together, over a period of 2 years, a consortium of 7 European entities, for research purposes and the coordination of a professional network.

The project develops along 7 Work Packages (WP) structured to reach a common objective, with deliverables, tasks and milestones. Along the project cycle, several meetings will allow the consortium to monitor the progress made by:

  • gathering the consortium members and sharing results
  • recruiting new stakeholders to systematically enlarge the network
  • defining a common charter of good practices.

An Ethic Committee, chaired by Didier Viviers, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Academy of Belgium, will be consulted in case of need during the project implementation. The Advisory Board, with highly qualified experts, will also be consulted along the way.

The last decades have witnessed a variety of initiatives, promoted by diverse actors engaged in the protection of endangered cultural heritage and in counteracting illicit trade, aimed at finding solutions and defining methodologies and approaches to tackle the these “hot” topics. NETCHER seeks to address the complex challenge of harmonizing and bringing together these worthy, but often disconnected, initiatives through a participative approach that will lead to the setting-up of a structured network (Social Platform) drawing together a broad range of stakeholders, such as international and umbrella organizations, national governments, researchers, public policy makers, NGOs, as well as public and private foundations.

Considering the significance of the pre-existing uncoordinated efforts, the Social Platform will aim at systematizing and framing best practices in order to enhance and capitalize on the international experiences of the Consortium members to carry out a joint action plan, with shared toolkits and a research and innovation roadmap.

NETCHER will achieve two main tangible productions, a charter of good practices and a social platform. The project is the initial step for an effective international and cross-sectorial fight against trafficking and looting of cultural goods.