25.05.2012 - UNESCOPRESS

Threats to cultural heritage

© UNESCOHeritage at risk

Cultural heritage sites around the world are increasingly becoming the collateral victims of both natural disasters and armed conflicts.

Italian Renaissance palaces, Timbuktu and its 16th Century theological collections, and the Saharan city of Ghadamès in Libya are just some of the cultural properties imperiled. Such heritage holds immeasurable value not only to local communities, but to humanity as a whole.

The Organization deploys field missions to assess damage and prepare for emergency by mobilizing international cooperation. This is done in keeping with UNESCO’s conventions on the protection of both tangible and intangible heritage from hazards, including armed conflict and illicit trafficking.

To protect world heritage, the Organization has responded to the earthquake in the Po Valley (Italy), the attack on the oasis of Ghadames (Libya) and the desecration of mausoleums in Timbuktu (Mali).




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