The World Monuments Fund (WMF) Britain organized an inaugural event in a new series entitled: The Past, Today. “Heritage and Conflict” Syria’s Battle to Protect its Past, on 12th November 2015 at the Royal Geographical Society.
The Director - General Prof. Maamoun Abdulkarim was invited to talk about the current situation of the Syrian cultural heritage and the work of the DGAM in protecting the museums, raising awareness, record and restore historic sites. He focused on the role of governmental and non-governmental institutions, as well as the local community, which provided support and sustenance of the DGAM in the defense of the shared memory and identity of each Syrians.
The event was attended by a large group of audience, scientific and academic British personalities and professionals in protecting historical monuments and presented by Mr. John Darlington
, Executive Director of WMF Britain and Mrs. Lisa Ackerman
, Vice-President of World Monuments Fund in New York.
The event was followed by an official meeting with UK Government minister for Culture, and Media Mr. John Whittingdale
, the discussion highlighted the possibilities that can be provided by Britain to support the efforts of DGAM for the success of its mission to maintain the Syrian cultural heritage, which is part of the World Heritage. Prof. Maamoun AbdulKarim highlighted the role of international institutions in support of the DGAM in the fight against smuggling of antiquities, control the black market, and the recover stolen artifact to Syria. He also pointed to the experiences of some scientific institutions in providing support and assistance to the DGAM through scientific exchange. The Director General urged at the end of the meeting on the need to create an effective initiatives that contribute to the preservation and conservation of the Syrian cultural heritage.
At the end of the meeting, several British media group held meetings with Prof. Maumoon AbdulKarim addressed the size of the threats to Syria's cultural heritage as part of the heritage of all mankind.