Emergency Actions in Iraq

Highlighting resolution 1483 of 22 May 2003 of the United Nations Security Council, UNESCO recommends a ban on the sale or transfer of Iraqi cultural property of historic and archaeological value. UNESCO is pursuing its awareness-raising and diplomatic activities so that the international community strengthens its work against the trafficking of Iraqi property and facilitates the restitution of vestiges.

Director-General Calls for Vigilance

August 2014 – After receiving a letter from H.E. Ambassador Mahmood Al-Mullakhalaf, Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Iraq to UNESCO, calling on “…all nations of the world to stand with Iraq…” in protecting its cultural heritage, the UNESCO Director-General sent letters to all States Parties and non-States Parties to the 1970 Convention, as well as to major museums and auction houses worldwide, in order to forward the Ambassador’s call while the country’s heritage is facing increased risks of looting. More

Consultation Meeting (July 2014)

© UNESCO/Ala Elfellah

A consultation meeting was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 17 July to develop an Emergency Response Action Plan to safeguard Iraq’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.

Press release - 17 July 2014 - Emergency Response Action Plan to Safeguard Iraqi Heritage

Awareness-Raising Campaign (2012-2013)

Protection of Cultural Property in Iraq (3 television spots in Arabic)

The UNESCO Iraq Office produced 3 television spots, in Arabic and just under a minute each in length, which were broadcasted in 2012 on a number of Iraqi television channels to raise awareness on the dangers of illicit trafficking of Iraqi cultural property, targeted specifically at the local Iraqi population.

Infographic Film for young people on Heritage Protection and Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property in Iraq (in Arabic)

The UNESCO Iraq Office produced the infographic film in 2013 in Arabic aimed at sensitizing Iraqi youth to the importance of protecting their rich and historical cultural heritage. This video was financed through the generous extra-budgetary contribution of the Government of Switzerland.

Roundtable on Iraqi archaeological heritage

Sculpture of a lioness attacking a Nubian (720 B.C.) ©INTERPOL

17 October 2012 - UNESCO Headquarters - Paris, France

UNESCO hosted an open discussion roundtable entitled "Safeguarding Iraqi Archaeological Heritage: Current Challenges and Achievements"

More information (PDF)

The sculpture (see adjacent photo) was stolen in Baghdad in April 2003, INTERPOL ref. n° 2003/22019-1.4

United Nations Security Council

22 May 2003

Further to the measures taken by the United States and in application of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483, the UNESCO Secretariat again reminded all its Member States of the necessity to fight against illicit trafficking and looting of Iraqi cultural property.

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