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Subject: Cultural heritage in Iraq

Cultural heritage in Iraq

From: Jorgen Wadum <wadum>
Date: Tuesday, April 15, 2003
    UNESCO press release - Iraqi cultural heritage

    ICOM President Jacques Perot urges all ICOM Committees and
    Affiliated Organisations to disseminate as widely as possible
    the following UNESCO press release.

    Communique
    Office of the Spokeswoman/ La Porte Parole
    Contact: m.de-pierrebourg [at] unesco__org
    +33 1 45 68 13 26
    Fax: +33 1 45 68 55 66
    UNESCO, April 13, 2003

    The Director-General of UNESCO calls for all measures to be
    taken to ensure the protection and surveillance of Iraqi
    cultural heritage and effectively fight against illicit
    trafficking

    Following the acts of looting committed yesterday in the
    National Archaeological Museum of Baghdad, UNESCO
    Director-General Koichiro Matsuura has contacted the American
    and British authorities and asked them to take immediate
    measures of protection and surveillance of Iraqi archaeological
    sites and cultural institutions. In a letter of 11 April 2003
    addressed to the American authorities, the Director-General
    emphasized the urgent need to preserve collections and a
    heritage considered to be one of the richest in the world. He
    particularly insisted on the necessity of assuring military
    protection for the Archaeological Museum of Baghdad and the
    Mosul Museum. The same request was formulated to the British
    authorities concerning in particular the Basra region.

    In order to prevent the illicit export of Iraqi cultural goods,
    the Director-General also undertook contacts with the
    authorities of the countries bordering Iraq and international
    police and customs officials to ensure respect of the 1970
    UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the
    Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural
    Property. He again requested INTERPOL, the World Customs
    Organization, the International Confederation of Art and
    Antiquities Dealer Associations (CINOA), the International
    Council of Museums (ICOM), the International Council on
    Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the principal actors of the art
    market to join forces with UNESCO in a "comprehensive
    mobilization so that stolen objects should not find their way to
    acquirers".


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:61
                 Distributed: Wednesday, April 16, 2003
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Received on Tuesday, 15 April, 2003

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