ICOMOS Statement on safeguarding of Egyptian cultural heritage
Paris - 27 August 2013
The President and membership of ICOMOS, express their grave concerns over the deteriorating situation in Egypt, and condemn the looting at the Museum of Malawi in Minya and the destruction of historic religious architecture and monuments across the country.
As a signatory of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two protocols, the 1972 World Heritage Convention and the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, Egypt has committed to protect its cultural heritage in its full integrity and acquired statutory instruments to prevent such tragedies.
ICOMOS President, Gustavo Araoz urges the Egyptian authorities to ensure the protection of museums, libraries and archives, monuments and sites, including those of religious importance and requests that Egypt do everything possible to deter and prevent the trafficking of cultural property. ICOMOS also calls on the Egyptian people to respect and protect the cultural heritage of Egypt, regardless to which historic periods, communities or faiths it belongs, and to prevent illegal trafficking and any irreversible losses to Egypt’s important historic legacy for the benefit of future generations.
ICOMOS recalls Egypt’s exceptional cultural heritage and recognizes its significance to the Egyptian people and to the rest of the world. We recognize the importance of this heritage to the identity and self-respect of the Egyptian people after conflict is resolved and are ready to provide our technical support to encourage the protection of the cultural heritage of Egypt.