International Expert Meeting on safeguarding Syria’s cultural heritage in the Federal Foreign Office

01.06.2016 - Press release

From 2 to 4 June 2016, an International Expert Meeting on protecting and preserving Syria’s cultural heritage is to be held in the Federal Foreign Office at the invitation of Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Minister of State Maria Böhmer, Special Representative of the Federal Foreign Office for UNESCO World Heritage, UNESCO Cultural Conventions and UNESCO Education and Science Programmes. The three‑day conference will begin on Thursday, 2 June, at 5 p.m. in the Weltsaal of the Federal Foreign Office.

The aim of the meeting is to move forward with current national and international activities to document and assess damage caused to Syrian cultural sites such as Palmyra and to build networks between the key experts in this field. The agenda also includes basic and further training for museum experts and experts for the reconstruction of Syria’s cultural heritage, as well as illegal trading in Syrian cultural objects.

Commenting on this, Minister of State Maria Böhmer made the following statement in Berlin today (1 June):

“Together with UNESCO, we have managed to invite a group of experts, institutions and non‑governmental organisations to Berlin who are global leaders in the field of the protection of cultural property. War continues in parts of Syria. Our aim is nevertheless to lay the basis for the reconstruction of the cultural sites and thus help preserve and strengthen Syria’s cultural identity. Despite serious damage, there is hope for successful conservation and restoration. Palmyra is symbolic of many Syrian cultural sites which need to be preserved for the people in Syria and the entire world.”

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