08.02.2013 - UNESCO Venice Office

Syrian cultural heritage: addressing the issue of illicit trafficking

© INTERPOL - Call for vigilance on looting of ancient mosaics in Syria

Within the series of training sessions organized by UNESCO in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, to strengthen the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural objects in UNESCO Member States, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (Venice) jointly organized with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey a regional training on “Capacity-building and awareness-raising on the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property” for the South-East European region in Gaziantep, Turkey, on 19-21 November 2012.

The UNESCO Venice Office will support the participation of 3 senior Turkish experts (Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Customs, and Interpol) in the four-day regional training scheduled in Jordan, from 10 to 13 February 2013. The event is being organized by the Amman Office under the patronage of HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan and with the support of the Swiss Federal Office for Culture, the UNESCO Offices in Iraq, Beirut, Venice and the Culture Heritage Protection Treaties Section at UNESCO headquarters,

Representatives from Syria and neighbouring countries (Iraq, Jordan, Turkey), together with international experts, will discuss the situation of illicit traffic and looting of cultural artifacts of Syria and ways to promote awareness and cooperation to protect Syrian cultural property.

In line with its mission to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences and culture, and its role in in protecting the cultural, historical and natural heritage of humanity, UNESCO has been alerting the international community on the risks to the Syrian cultural heritage since the early stages of the conflict, and has been calling for its protection from destruction and looting. This regional training represents an immediate action to address the issue of illicit trafficking of Syrian cultural property.

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