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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

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Our Media on the 2015 Cairo Conference

2015 Cairo Conference: Cultural Property Under Threat

TEN MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICAN COUNTRIES ANNOUNCE CAIRO DECLARATION, TAKE STEPS TO PREVENT THE WAR CRIME OF LOOTING AND THE DESTRUCTION OF HERITAGE As the Islamic State continued its march of destruction across Iraq and Syria, ten [...]

By | May 25th, 2015|Tags: |

Culture Under Threat Conference in Cairo: Red Arch Raises Important Questions Posed by U.S. Imports of Art, Collectors’ Pieces, and Antiques

Culture Under Threat Conference in Cairo: Red Arch Raises Important Questions Posed by U.S. Imports of Art, Collectors' Pieces, and Antiques Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire - 21 May 2015 Why did the declared [...]

By | May 21st, 2015|Tags: |

Uniting for heritage

Issue No.1247, 21 May, 2015      20-05-2015 11:59AM ET   Uniting for heritage An international conference held in Cairo this week is spearheading efforts to protect and preserve the region’s cultural heritage, reports Nevine El-Aref [...]

By | May 21st, 2015|

Cultural Property Under Threat: The Cultural, Economic & Security Impact of Antiquities Theft in the Middle East

Cultural Property Under Threat: The Cultural, Economic Security Impact of Antiquities Theft in the Middle East Cultural Heritage Partners - 19 May 2015 Marion Werkheiser was honored to attend a ministerial level conference in Cairo, [...]

By | May 19th, 2015|Tags: |

Cairo Declaration to protect Middle East cultural heritage

Cairo Declaration to protect Middle East cultural heritage Conference examined ways to prevent theft and illegal export of cultural and historic artefacts Nevine El-Aref , Monday 18 May 2015 Destruction in Mosul After [...]

By | May 18th, 2015|Tags: |

Antiquities Minister urges amendment of UNESCO 1970 agreement

Antiquities Minister urges amendment of UNESCO 1970 agreement Al Masry Al Youm - Thu, 14/05/2015 - 18:55 Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said on Thursday he agreed with the UNESCO to establish an Egypt-chaired international advisory [...]

By | May 14th, 2015|Tags: |