Egypt's Museums: UNESCO to the rescue

22 Mar 2011 6:54 PM | Anonymous

Egypt's Museums: UNESCO to the rescue
Louise Sarant Tue, 22/03/2011 - 22:42  

Although the Egyptian revolution has been full of highlights, the human shield that pro-democracy protesters formed spontaneously to protect the Egyptian Museum on Tahrir Square on 28 January is an event marked with indelible ink. It was the first time in recent history that civilians immersed in a conflict banded together to protect their heritage.

Irina Bokova, the general director of UNESCO, has repeatedly expressed how remarkable this initiative was, stressing that it showed the profound attachment the Egyptians feel toward their culture and history.

Bokova mentioned this again last week during a two-day conference held in Paris on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the convention on the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural goods. During this conference, she also decided to set up a team of experts, both from the UNESCO and the International Council of Museums (ICOM), for a short mission to Egypt. There they planned to offer their support and determine what the country needs in order to protect their heritage sites and artifacts, which have been looted in recent weeks.

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