A link between people and their heritage… The endeavor to preserve Palestinian Cultural Heritage should be of concern to everyone. Over the past 8 years, the Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation in Bethlehem has been privileged to lead the way in cultural heritage preservation by rehabilitating historical buildings for adaptive re-use throughout the Bethlehem District. The Centre has adopted a holistic approach to rehabilitation by involving the community through our public awareness programmes, research, and training. Our main objectives are preservation through restoration and promoting a sense of shared responsibility and reverence for Palestine's Cultural Heritage through community involvement.
The Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation is an off-shoot of the Bethlehem 2000 Project Authority (BL2000), established in 1998 to prepare Bethlehem for the celebrations marking the turn of the millennium. The Centre was mandated by President Yasser Arafat on 14 April 2001 to continue and expand on cultural heritage preservation efforts started by BL2000. It is an independent public body operating under the guidance of a board of trustees which is headed by the Minister of Culture and currently under the supervision of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. A steering committee of five members, including two from non-governmental organizations, is providing the overall supervision and policy guidance.
CCHP was established with the mission to oversee the preservation of historic centers and traditional buildings within the towns and villages of the Bethlehem District and enhance awareness of cultural heritage in the public consciousness.
In order to achieve its mission, the CCHP started a process of cultural heritage preservation based on scientific study; training and development of its team, architects and craftsmen; improved management of projects; researches related to both tangible and intangible heritage; participation in regional and international conferences related to cultural heritage preservation and development and increased community participation.