2015 Cairo Conference: Cultural Property Under Threat 2017-10-26T04:18:57+00:00

Cultural Property Under Threat

May 13-14, 2015 – Cairo Egypt

ISIS’ deliberate and targeted destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria has shocked the world and demanded a response. In recent months, we have lost entire chapters of our shared history, and some of the most iconic masterpieces and sites the world has ever known. This wanton devastation threatens us all: at this moment, ISIS, the al-Nusrah Front, and other al-Qaeda affiliates are arming their campaign of terror through the black market sale of relics pillaged from the Cradle of Civilization.

While we cannot stop the sledgehammers, we can stop ISIS and other terrorists from profiting from this stolen treasure. The Antiquities Coalition has formed a powerful alliance with the Arab Republic of Egypt, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Middle East Institute to shut down ISIS funding from cultural racketeering. We launched this initiative with an emergency conference in Cairo from 13-14 May 2015.

The 2015 Cairo Conference: Cultural Property Under Threat brought together Ministers of Antiquities, Culture, Tourism, and Foreign Affairs for ten key  governments in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO and Nail al-Araby, Secretary General of the Arab League. Leading international experts  – including archaeologists, business leaders, former military officials, lawyers, and experts in counter-terrorism, law enforcement, and security – also came from around the world to participate. This audience of decision-makers and specialists presented an unprecedented opportunity to develop regional solutions against cultural cleansing and cultural racketeering, in keeping with the Antiquities Coalition’s mission of safeguarding our shared cultural heritage.

At the end of the conference, the ten participating countries issued the historic Cairo Declaration, denouncing the “blood antiquities” trade and announcing a regional “action plan” to stop terrorist financing through cultural racketeering. Work is already underway to fulfill the declaration’s goals. Please visit our website for updates on recent activity.

Watch the #CultureUnderThreat Video Series

The Antiquities Coalition is launching its first video series titled “Culture Under Threat: Terrorism and Profiteering,” featuring panelists from the Cairo Conference, which brought together an unprecedented group to tackle cultural racketeering and terrorist financing. Some of the issues covered in this series includes the looting crisis, illicit antiquities trade, and its connection to terrorism.

See the Photos from the Event

Hosting Organizations

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Our Media on the 2015 Cairo Conference

Art Daily: Antiquities Coalition Initiative Supports Egypt’s Museums in Securing Priceless Patrimony

The Mallawi Museum in Egypt right after being looted in July 2013. The Antiquities Coalition is excited to announce its role in a newly launched collaboration to establish the Museum Digitization and Documentation [...]

By | November 30th, 2015|

For Immediate Release: Forum on Terrorist Financing to Address Illicit Sales of Antiquities in U.S. and Internationally

Thursday, September 24, 2015 8:30-11:30 AM Asia Society, 725 Park Ave, New York, NY The Antiquities Coalition, the Middle East Institute, Asia Society, and UNESCO will cohost a high level forum in New York City [...]

By | September 24th, 2015|Tags: |

The Asia Society Announces September Summit with the Antiquities Coalition to Tackle Cultural Racketeering

Press Release from the Asia Society NEW YORK, August 4, 2015 — Asia Society is pleased to join UNESCO, the Antiquities Coalition and the Middle East Institute in a special high-level forum in New York City [...]

By | August 5th, 2015|Tags: |

Introducing the Antiquities Coalition’s New Video Series, “Culture Under Threat: Terrorism and Profiteering”

The Antiquities Coalition is launching our first video series! Titled, “Culture Under Threat: Terrorism and Profiteering,” it features international experts offering solutions to and analysis of the looting crisis, illicit antiquities trade, and its connection to terrorism. The series [...]

By | June 23rd, 2015|Tags: |