Wednesday 28 May 2014

UNESCO to create an Observatory for the Safeguarding of Syria’s Cultural Heritage

UNESCO will establish an observatory in Beirut (Lebanon) to monitor and assess the state of Syria’s cultural heritage. The decision was made during an international meeting of experts held at UNESCO from 26 - 28 May. The Observatory will monitor the state of buildings, artefacts and intangible cultural heritage to combat illicit trafficking and collect information to restore heritage once the fighting is over. Based at UNESCO’s Office in Beirut, the Observatory will maintain an online platform where national and international stakeholders will share information on damaged structures, looted artefacts and all forms of endangered intangible heritage.  [...] The participants also called on the UN Security Council to consider a resolution to facilitate the restitution of stolen and illegally exported cultural objects from Syria and ban their sale and transfer. They also underlined the need to “demilitarize cultural sites,” preventing their use as military bases or targets in keeping with existing international law, notably the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954), ratified by Syria.

Read the entire press release of 28.05.2014 - here.  

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