Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Blood, Treasure and Islamic State: War, Extremism and Looting of Culture

"Blood, Treasure and Islamic State: War, Extremism and Looting of Culture" was an event hosted in the House of Lords in the UK, organized by Tasoula Hadjitofi ('Walk of Truth') on 16th December 2014, under the auspices of Baroness Berridge.
Tasoula Hadjitofi, Founder of "Walk of Truth", former Honorary Consul of the Republic of Cyprus in The Netherlands and former Representative of the Church of Cyprus. Mrs Hadjitofi, a refugee from Famagusta as a result of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, served as Honorary Consul in The Netherlands where she sought justice for the looting of Cyprus' cultural heritage through repatriation of its stolen religious artefacts. Her work with Archbishop Chrysostomos I culminated in her orchestrating the Munich Operation, which led to the arrest of art trafficker Aydin Dikmen and the recovery of over $60 million of stolen antiquities from Cyprus and around the world. Mrs Hadjitofi's non-governmental organisation, 'Walk of Truth', continues to engage citizens and leaders of the world regarding the importance of protecting the shared cultural heritage of Cyprus and the recognition that the responsibility of its survival lies "with each of us". 
Prof. Dr. Willy Bruggeman, Chairman of the Belgian Federal Police Council, and former Deputy Director of Europol talked on "Looted Arts: New kind of Blood money" , and  Baron Serve Brammertz, Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia talked on  "Destruction of Cultural Heritage as a Weapon of War". This was balanced by Professor Normal Palmer, CBE QC (Hon). who discussed "What Law can and can't do". A video uploaded by the 'Walk of Truth', can be seen here. See also the "Walk of Truth" website.

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