The Italian Parliament hosts the Syrian Director-General of Antiquities & Museums06/11/2015 - عدد القراءات : 2935

The committees of foreign and cultural affairs in the Italian Parliament held a series of meetings on November 5th and 6th, 2015, hosting Prof. Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Director-General of Antiquities and Museums.

On the 1st day, there was a press conference with Prof. Abdulkarim and Mr. Khalid Chaouki, member of the Italian Parliament and President of the cultural committee in the Union for the Mediterranean, based in the Italian Parliament.

Press conference at the Italian Parliament

Press conference at the Italian Parliament

For about 90 minutes, the director-general of DGAM met with the 2 committees of foreign and cultural affairs in the Italian Parliament, and gave a presentation about the Syrian cultural heritage during the crisis and the endangers exposed by militias, heritage hunters, and saboteurs, who have been more active recently in the several archaeological sites.  Moreover, Prof. Abdulkarim declared the major damages caused by the terrorist militants of ISIS, upon using explosives and targeting expert archaeologists, i.e. the Late Mr. Kahled Asaad.  In his presentation, Prof. Abdulkarim mentioned the overall measures taken by DGAM, the Syrian Ministry of Culture, in order to safeguard the museum objects, and large-scale documentation projects; in addition, he emphasized on the important role of the local societies in conflicted areas in protecting some sites, in cooperation with DGAM.  In conclusion, he drew the attention of the role of government authorities and institutions in Syria in providing the needed support to DGAM in order to transfer endangered objects to safe places and to fight the armed heritage hunters.

 Meeting with the committees of the Italian Parliament

The attending members of the Italian parliament evaluated highly the mentioned national efforts, then discussed with DG of Antiquities and Museums the possible means so the international community in general, and the Italian in particular, can support DGAM in the war to protect the Syrian heritage, so-considered human heritage, of terrorism, radicalism, sabotage, and robbery.

On the 2nd day, 2 sessions were held (according to this schedule) and attended by many parliament members of Italy, the Mediterranean, and Europe among the Union for the Mediterranean, to cast the significant role expected from the European institutions and authorities, in order to help protect the heritage and culture of radicalism and terrorism.

As an introduction, The Director-General of Antiquities and Museums in Syria briefed the audience about the topics discussed the previous day, and drew their attention to the necessity to take action by the international community in order to stop endangering and damaging the Syrian cultural heritage.

Opening ceremony of the 2nd day

Session I was exchanging views on “Promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue. What tools to prevent radicalism”, attended by representatives of religious institutions working in the Arab World and Europe.

Session II was exchanging views on “Blue Helmets for Culture: a joint commitment in memory of Khaled Asaad”.  In order to commemorate the Late Mr. Asaad’s memory, the opening speech was given by a representative of the Italian Minister of Heritage, Culture, and Tourism, who had to leave to Paris for a diplomatic obligation.

Proceedings of Session I

Proceedings of Session II


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