09.05.2014 - ODG

Syria: the Director-General condemns new destruction at the World Heritage site of the Old City of Aleppo

© UNESCO / Professor Maamoun Abdul KarimAleppo

The World Heritage City of Aleppo has again been hit by a major explosion against the Carlton Citadel Hotel, a building from the turn of the XXth century in the vicinity of Aleppo’s Citadel and adjacent to its souks.

This new explosion bears witness to the intensification of violence which has resulted in an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. The Old City suffers from continuous street combat and shelling, causing a renewed heavy toll on human lives and raising serious risks of targeted attacks against the Citadel and further destruction within the Old City. 

“I am deeply shocked by the escalation of violence in Aleppo, its tragic human toll and the destruction of its invaluable cultural heritage”, said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.

“I reiterate my call to all parties involved in the conflict to immediately stop the destruction of the country’s cultural heritage, and in particular Aleppo. Heritage should not be taken hostage in the conflict and I condemn any military use of cultural sites, as targets or as shelters”, she added.

“Damage to the cultural property of the Syrian people is damage to the cultural heritage of all humanity. This principle stands at the heart of the Hague Convention on the protection of cultural heritage in the event of an armed conflict, adopted 60 years ago this year, and I call on all parties to respect their obligations in this regard”, she concluded.

 




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