Cultural Heritage Rescue Prize Venice 2014 awarded to Director-General of DGAM Syria26/10/2014 - عدد القراءات : 3360

The International Campaign entitled "The Forgotten Victim in Syria" which, launched in Rome on the mid of February 2014, offered a prize for the person or organization who has done most to protect Syria's heritage. The "Cultural Heritage Rescue Prize Venice 2014" aimed to attract the public in Europe and the world towards preventing the destruction of cultural heritage in Syria.

The first edition of this “courageous” award hold in Venice on October 25, 2014, in the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), and the prize awarded to Prof. Maamoun Abdulkarim (The General-Director of DGAM) for his brave efforts to protect art and culture during Syria’s crises.

The initiative was under the patronage of Mr.Dario Franceschini (Minister of Culture and Tourism in Italy), promoted and coordinated by both Mr. Francesco Rutelli, chairman of the Associazione Priorità Cultura and of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (Berlin) and Ebla-discoverer professor Paolo Matthiae, under the patronage of the Council of Europe and the support of Venice’s Superintendence for Cultural Assets.

This prize prestigious jury composed by:

The event programme started by the opening session at Ducale Palace, chaired by Mr. Dario Franceschini (Minister of Culture and Tourism in Italy) with participants of Mr. Francesco Rutelli, Prof. Paolo Matthiae and Mounir Bouchenaki. The session focus on the importance of the international initiative to safeguard the cultural heritage in the countries witnessed violence and crises such as Syria & Iraq and the necessity to define strategies in order to save the cultural heritage, through the states activities, governments and organizations.

The second session was at Cavalli Franchetti Palace and with the participation of a group of scientists and officials representing the Italian Senate, the Parliament and the Representation of the European Union. The discussions centered on some countries experiences during the crisis and its effects on cultural heritage.

The final session was at Ducale Palace, chaired by Mr Sandro Gozi, (Under Secretary responsible for European Affairs of Italy) with participants of Mr. Domenico Kutaya (Governor of Venice), Ms. Rnata Codello (Chief of Conservation of Architectural Heritage and Monuments of the City of Venice) Mr. Vittorio Zappalorto, Special Commissioner of Venice and Dr. Samir Abdulac (Secretary General of ICOMOS-Paris) who in his turn presented an overview of the biography and work of Prof. Maamoun Abdulkarim.

The session ended by, declare Prof. Maamoun AbdulKarim (Director-General of Antiquities and Museums) as a winner of the Cultural Heritage Rescue Prize 2014, followed by registered speech to Mr. Staffan de Mistura (special envoy for Syria) about the importance of saving cultural heritage in Syria.

Prof. Maamoun Abdulkarim presented a speech on this occasion; he thanked the organizers for this initiative, which can be added to a number of initiatives, launched by international organizations concerned with cultural heritage, in order to draw the world's attention to the suffering of Syria's antiquities. He also added that the honor is a tribute to all those working in the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums, and praised their efforts in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental, community and international organizations concerned with the protection of heritage and foreign scientists and their institutions in the defense of Syrian heritage institutions. At the end of his speech, the Director-General gave this award to all employees in the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums and every Syrian citizen had a role in the protection cultural heritage in these difficult times.


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