On 2 and 3 December, an international conference on the protection of cultural heritage in crisis regions is to be held in Abu Dhabi. The focus will be on coordinating steps to protect, preserve and reconstruct cultural heritage in such regions.
Heads of state and government and other representatives from more than 40 countries and international organisations are to attend. 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, is to represent the German Government.
Minister of State Böhmer issued the following statement before leaving for Abu Dhabi:
The destruction of cultural property due to terror and war, illicit excavations and illegal trading, poses a threat to humankind’s cultural heritage. The conference in Abu Dhabi sends a clear signal: we are countering the destruction of cultural heritage. Protecting this heritage is a global challenge. Using expertise from German institutions such as the German Archaeological Institute and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, we want to play our part in international steps to protect it.
Germany has now taken several steps to protect cultural heritage around the world, for example by setting up the Archaeological Heritage Network (a network of experts), initiating the Stunde Null project , continuing the Cultural Preservation Programme of the Federal Foreign Office and amending the Act to Protect German Cultural Property against Removal in the German Bundestag. Furthermore, Minister of State Böhmer hosted the expert meeting on preserving Syria’s cultural heritage in Berlin in June 2016 along with UNESCO Director‑General Irina Bokova. For more information go to www.diplo.de