International Symposium “Cultural Heritage and Conflict: Protection and Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage in Conflict and Post-conflict”

Dr. H. O. Al-Mamori (General Director, Division of the Investigations and Excavations, the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Ministry of Culture of Iraq) speaking on the recent state of destroyed ruins in Iraq

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation has been making efforts to protect cultural heritage in danger under conflict or in post-conflict situations, including the activity for protecting the Bamyan ruins in Afghanistan. In recent years, there has been a lot of media coverage about destruction of cultural heritage in the countries under a civil war such as Syria and Iraq. In response to such situations, following the symposiums “Rebuilding in Syria and the Cultural Heritage” held in October 2013 and “Towards Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage” held in June 2014, the international symposium titled “Cultural Heritage and Conflict: Protection and Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage in Conflict and Post-conflict” was held at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo on January 24th, 2016.
 This symposium welcomed experts who were working at protection of cultural heritage in Afghanistan and Iraq. They spoke to us on the cultural heritage protection activities implemented in their countries thus far, critical situations that they now face, and the international support required now and in the future. The activities to protect cultural heritage that have been conducted in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq by Japanese experts were also introduced.
 The symposium was attended by more than 100 participants and the contents of the presentations were reported by various mass media, reflecting a high interest among people in protecting cultural heritage under the conflict. The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation intends to continue its international contribution through various matters related to cultural heritage.

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