The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) organized the conference dedicated to combat the looting of Syria’s cultural heritage.
The conference was held in Sofia on 16 September under the patronage of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.
The conference was 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, from the Syrian Embassy in Sofia Mrs Nadra Saiaf, Mr. Khaled Sharaf and the non-governmental organization “Walk of Truth” (the Netherlands).
It was attended by Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende and Minister of Culture Torhild Widvey inaddition to the NGO's participants, experts in the field of archeology, members of diplomatic missions in Bulgaria and the DGAM General Director Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim via skype.
The participants discussed the importance of the Syrian cultural heritage and assumed that it is belong to the global humanity not only to the Syrian, therfore 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.
In his turn, Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim presented the DGAM vision and startegy during the recent crisis, he appeaed to the international community to support the local efforts in combating illicitly trade artefact and controling the borders of the neighboring countries.