ICOMOS Statement on Crac des Chevaliers and the continuing destruction of the cultural heritage of Syria
ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, expresses its deep concern for the on-going destruction of cultural heritage in Syria, and stands with Syrian cultural heritage professionals for the protection of heritage places in the country.
The continuing conflict situation in Syria, which began in 2011, has led to an extensive humanitarian crisis and the destruction of many invaluable cultural heritage places, including World Heritage properties.
New media reports and video footage of the bombardment and damages to Crac des Chevaliers, one of Syria’s World Heritage properties, are of particular concern to ICOMOS.
“Revisiting Kathmandu” is an international symposium on the conservation of living urban heritage. It takes place in the context of a rapidly changing understanding of heritage as a concept that does not only include monuments any more, but complex urban spaces, where people live, work, worship and celebrate festivals. As values and aspirations of society change, urban settlements must adapt and respond to this change.
The symposium will discuss on how to maintain the delicate balance between conserving what represents the intrinsic character and value of the historic city, while, at the same time, allowing for the change that is required for the city to continue to live.
ICOMOS: Recalling the resolutions adopted on religious heritage by the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th General Assemblies of ICOMOS regarding the protection and enhancement of sacred heritage sites, buildings and landscapes;
ICOMOS condemns the recent destructions of Sufi cultural heritage in Tunisia and continued threats to this heritage in several countries of the region.
Having always been esteemed and regarded with affection, Sufi architectural heritage in Tunisia is now threatened by planned acts of destruction which began shortly after the revolution of 17 December 2010 – 14 January 2011.
The safety and protection of people is the first and foremost priority in any disaster, as is the resilience of their communities in times of disasters. The themes, presentations, discussions and conversations surrounding this Global Risk conference strongly support life safety being paramount, as do we within ICOMOS-ICORP.
As Chairperson of ICOMOS-ICORP, I would like to add additional thoughts that should also be addressed as we move forward, particularly with regards to disaster risk management and how heritage can be better protected from disasters while contributing to the resilience of societies.
This new publication has been prepared for the 4th Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, 19-23 May 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland by Rohit Jigyasu, UNESCO Chair Professor at the Research Center of Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, and President of ICOMOS-ICORP,with the support of Manas Murthy, Architect and Sustainable Urbanist; Giovanni Boccardi (UNESCO World Heritage Centre); Christopher Marrion and Diane Douglas (ICOMOS-ICORP); Joseph King (ICCROM); Geoff O Brien (Northumbria University) and Glenn Dolcemascolo, Yongkyun Kim and Paola Albrito, Mariana Osihn, from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Northeast Asia & Global Education and Training Institute at Incheon and the Regional Office for Europe. All have provided valuable advice in developing this paper.
- Protection of Syria’s Cultural Heritage in Times of Armed Conflict: ICOMOS - ICCROM e-learning course for Syrian cultural heritage professionals
- The Istanbul Statement on Cultural Heritage Protection in Times of Risk 2012
- Istanbul Symposium- Final Programme
- UNESCO deplores destruction of ancient Aleppo markets, a World Heritage site