Training to fight against the illicit trafficking of Syrian cultural properties

Recovered object from the site of Palmyra © UNESCO

Recovered object from the site of Palmyra © UNESCO

In the framework of the Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage project, Beirut, Lebanon, 10-14 November 2014

Illicit excavations and looting have increased notably since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, leading to an amplified traffic of Syrian cultural properties. In response to this prevailing alarming situation, and at the explicit request expressed by Syrian stakeholders and authorities, UNESCO is organizing a training activity on the fight against the illicit traffic of Syrian cultural objects.

The training is addressed to 35 police and customs officers from Syria and neighbouring countries: Iraq Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. It will bring together experts from UNESCO, Interpol and Interpol National Bureaus, UNIDROIT, Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Western Europe - World Customs Organization, National Customs offices, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, NGOs such as “Geneva Call”, cultural heritage and legislation experts.

The training will include normative presentations focusing on international treaties and conventions and national legislation for the protection of cultural heritage; and interactive group exercises on the use of existing tools to prevent illicit trafficking.

This activity is part of the “Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage” project financed by the European Union for a period of three years, with the support of the Flemish Government.

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