Emergency Expert Meeting for the Safeguarding of Iraq's Cultural Heritage
ICOM was invited to the Emergency Expert Meeting for the Safeguarding of Iraq's Cultural Heritage, which was organised by UNESCO on Thursday, 17 July, 2014 in Paris, France. This roundtable provided an opportunity for speakers from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Iraq to assess the damage to cultural heritage in the country and the needs of Iraqi professionals working in the sector. The Ministry emphasised the need for international cooperation to effectively protect cultural objects, which are suffering daily attacks by troops from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Emergency response training programmes for Iraqi museum professionals were also discussed.
The fight against illicit trafficking in cultural goods has long been one of ICOM’s chief priorities. During the meeting, the importance of the Emergency Red List of Iraqi Antiquities at Risk was highlighted, which was the first Red List published by ICOM in 2003, and remains relevant due to the ongoing looting and illicit trafficking of cultural goods in the region. The publication is currently being updated and reprinted with the generous support of the US Department of State.
During the technical meeting, ICOM Director General added that ICOM’s International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods provides information on the issues of looting and illicit trafficking and that by filtering searches by country, material on Iraq can be readily found. The Observatory is an accessible platform that could eventually be used to efficiently alert the public of violations in Iraq.
Representatives of ICCROM, ICOMOS, IFLA, INTERPOL and UNESCO attending the meeting called for an immediate response to the tragic events taking place in the northern Mosul region of Iraq for the past several months. Mobilising the international community is more crucial than ever to ensure that concrete actions are implemented to fight this threat to the cultural heritage of Iraq, and the world.
Download-Link: Emergency Red List Syrien, Dt.Ausgabe