Syria:UNESCO to meet with gov't,NGOs on cultural emergencies

Paris meeting May 26-27 for damage control in Med

21 May, 13:18

    Damages in 'Krak des Chevaliers', the famous Crusader castle in Homs province, Syria Damages in 'Krak des Chevaliers', the famous Crusader castle in Homs province, Syria

    (ANSAmed) - POMPEI - UNESCO is to meet with government authorities and opposition NGOs to come up with a plan of action to face cultural heritage emergencies in war-torn Syria and other unstable areas in the Med, the UN agency said Wednesday.

    The meeting will take place May 26 and 27 in Paris, UNESCO Med and Gulf culture officer Anna Paolini said on the sidelines of the 'Memory of the Future' conference organized by ANSAmed news service.

    The ongoing conference in the Pompeii archeological site is part of the Universal Forum of Cultures, which is held in a different country every three years by local governments and UNESCO. ''We are strongly engaged in Syria in spite of the fact that access is more and more difficult and UN refugee agencies have precedence'', Paolini said. ''Our offices in Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan are employing EU funds to work with the Syrian antiquities department as well as with NGOs linked to the opposition. As a UN agency, we are open to working with everyone''.

    UNESCO wants to get an overall picture of what is happening in the field in Syria in order to evaluate primary needs and emergencies.

    ''We want to help Syrians come up with a post-war plan, when we will be able to enter the country with a clear idea of which situations need intervention first'', she added.

    ''We are also in the front lines of damage control of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Egypt after the recent explosion at the Cairo Islamic Museum. We immediately sent a mission there, which will come up with an overall plan to manage and secure Egyptian sites and museums''.(ANSAmed).

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