ICOMOS, ICA, IFLA and ICOM have issued a Statement on November 20 regarding the situation of cultural heritage in the Nagorno Karabakh region, following the ceasefire agreement that was implemented in the Nagorno-Karabakh region on November 10, to call all parties involved to proactively ensure full respect and protection of all the cultural heritage in the concerned areas.
ICOM and ICOMOS jointly and strongly condemn any deliberate destruction of cultural heritage
In armed conflicts and political upheavals since the turn of the millennium, cultural heritage has been increasingly targeted. It has been looted or deliberately destroyed, in order to finance warfare or to affect the identity and the confidence of adversaries. Museums as well as cultural sites are affected in many countries around the world.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), as representatives of the heritage community in the world, are very much concerned about this evolution and in particular recent developments. ICOM and ICOMOS remind all parties of armed conflicts of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.
The 13th International Training Course will give special focus on the Integrated Protection of Immovable and Movable Cultural Heritage from Disasters.
Cultural heritage is increasingly exposed to disasters caused by natural and human-induced hazards such as earthquakes, floods, fires, typhoons, theft, terrorism etc. An integrated approach for movable and immovable heritage is needed for risk assessment of heritage sites as well as museums and its collections before, during and after a disaster situation. Limited availability of human and financial resources also calls for closer coordination between professionals and institutions dealing with heritage sites, museums and the external agencies.
In January 2017, ICOMOS was awarded a generous grant of 80 000 € by the Getty Foundation for our General Assembly taking place this December in Delhi. This international gathering is one of the most important in the heritage conservation field and under our policy of non-political involvement and non-discrimination, the meeting is open to all.
Recently, the Getty Foundation suddenly informed ICOMOS that for unforeseen reasons related to compliance with U.S. sanctions regulations, and through no fault whatsoever of ICOMOS, it would have to revoke the grant because of the participation at the General Assembly of one of our members, a young Syrian architect, teaching part-time at a Syrian state-funded university.
This year, the 19th ICOMOS General Assembly and Scientific Symposium will take place in Delhi on the invitation of ICOMOS India from 11-15 December 2017 (General Assembly and Scientific Symposium) with Pre-Meetings held 8-10 December and Post-Meetings and Events from 16-17 December.
ICOMOS joins the cultural heritage conservation community in praising the exemplary work led by Professor Maamoun Abdulkarim during his tenure, which he concludes today, as Director General of Antiquities and Museums in Syria.