#CultureUnderThreat: Three Years Later (Report)
April 18, 2019
Since the 2011 Arab Spring, the Middle East’s cultural heritage has faced a grave threat as Daesh (ISIS) and other violent extremist organizations transformed archaeological, historic, and religious sites into a weapon of war and terrorist financing tool. In response to this growing emergency, a multidisciplinary group of experts convened by the Antiquities Coalition, the Middle East Institute, and the Asia Society came together to explore solutions and serve as an ongoing resource to policymakers. The resulting 2016 report, #CultureUnderThreat: Recommendations for the U.S. Government, called for new policies, practices, and priorities to reduce heritage destruction and looting, end impunity for cultural crimes, and sever a key source of funding for crime, conflict, and terrorism.
The following update, published on the three-year anniversary of the original report, details the status of each original recommendation, highlighting successes and identifying future challenges in this ongoing fight.
The #CultureUnderThreat Task Force was chaired by Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin, former President of the Middle East Institute, Deborah Lehr, Chairman and Founder of the Antiquities Coalition, and Josece Sheeran, President and CEO of the Asia Society, and directed by Tess Davis, Executive Director of the Antiquities Coalition. Julia E. McLean, Project Director of the Antiquities Coalition, authored this update.