Movable Heritage and Museums

© Rula Halawani / UNESCO Photo Archive, 2012
The Riwaya Museum in Bethlehem

Palestine’s rich cultural heritage is exposed to a high risk of looting and trafficking of archaeological artefacts. UNESCO Office in Ramallah, in cooperation with Interpol, delivered specialized training courses in “Police networking aspects and Object ID” for PA officials of different police forces, including Civil Police, Tourism Police, Customs, etc. and staff of the Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The National Database of Uncovered and Moved Artefacts in the oPt since 1967 is under construction. On 22 March 2012 Palestine has ratified the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970) and accessed the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954) and its two Protocols (1954 and 1999).

UNESCO assisted the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in the formulation of the National Museum Policy and the establishment of several museums of different size and typology, such as the Archaeological Museum in Ramallah, the Samaritan Museum in Mount Gerizim near Nablus, the Dura Museum near Hebron and continues its assistance in the establishment of the Riwaya Museum in Bethlehem.

The latter is an innovative museum based on interactive multimedia displays on stories (riwayat) narrated according to different themes, to serve as a venue for safeguarding and promoting Palestinian cultural diversity and fostering intercultural dialogue. The Riwaya Museum will be a space for interaction and dialogue, a place where people of different age, sex, origin and beliefs can reflect over the past, present and future.

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