Norwegian initiative to combat the looting of Syria’s cultural heritage

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) invites to a conference dedicated to combat the looting of Syria’s cultural heritage. The conference will be held in Sofia on 16 September under the patronage of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria Credit: Dima Chahin

The illicit trade with antiquities from Syria is among the less well-understood but increasingly important sources of income for the warring parties in Syria. Bulgaria and the Balkans are a major route for trafficking of Syrian cultural heritage objects and many refugees pay for being smuggled with illicitly trade artefact from conflict-struck areas in Syria. Joint efforts from the global community are essential for saving cultural heritage and curbing the looting and illicit sale for antiquities, regardless of their origin.

The conference is organized by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sofia and the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research under the patronage of UNESCO and in partnership with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus and the non-governmental organization “Walk of Truth” (the Netherlands).

See attached programme for further details. For more information, please contact the Norwegian Embassy in Sofia: emb.sofia@mfa.no.  

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