next May to face the attempts of tempering with cultural heritage.
The Minister of Antiquities Dr. Eldamaty discussed the possibility
of organizing an international conference under the name of "Cultural
Heritage under Threat" to be held in Cairo next May. The conference
will be in collaboration between the Ministries of Antiquities and
Foreign Affairs in contribution with the UNESCO. The Antiquities
Minister met the Chairman of the International Coalition to Protect
Egyptian Antiquities (ICPEA) Deborah Lehr and the Vice President of the
Middle East Institute – Washington, Kate Seely, to study the means of
cooperation in the various fields of archaeology work with the subject
of confronting the processes of smuggling and illegal trade of the
cultural properties as a priority.
The Antiquities Minister clarifies that the idea came in this
particular timing due to what many Arab countries face of terrorist
actions, internal and external wars, insecure and instability of
security after the Arab Spring. Many archaeological areas, museums and
cultural heritage objects were negatively influenced due to such
exceptional incidents. The meeting aimed at the coming out of effective
resolutions to be declared internationally in such cases, and how to
deal with markets that illegally trade with cultural heritage objects.
General Supervisor of the "International Organizations" Department
Ahmed Ebeid added that this conference will open the door for
coordination between the affected countries and allows experience
exchange amongst them to protect their invaluable inheritance. It will
also emphasize the actual size of the people's great loss. He also
added that it has been agreed that a number of Arab Countries are
invited like Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
Other issues also was discussed at the meeting like the means to
support the joint cooperation to participate in adding new Egyptian
Archaeological sites to the Cultural Heritage List and contact with
countries with previous experience at that field like China.
On the other hand, the General Director of the "Repatriated
Antiquities" Department added that there is a possibility that the
ICPEA could support the Egyptian efforts to document the artifacts
saved at the different stores and museums in Egypt through the use of
modern techniques to create a digital database to facilitate the
process of monitoring the registered, smuggled, and offered for sale
objects. He also added that a possibility to present the technical
support for Egypt to using the satellite technology in determining the
encroachments on archaeological sites was also negotiated at that
Original Arabic Language Article can be found HERE