Nations team up to protect ancient heritage from terrorism

2017-04-24 20:49
This combination of handout pictures shows close-ups of satellite-acquired images with (top) the Temple of Bel seen in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra on August 27, 2015 and (bottom) rubble seen at the temple's location on August 31, 2015. (Unitar, A

This combination of handout pictures shows close-ups of satellite-acquired images with (top) the Temple of Bel seen in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra on August 27, 2015 and (bottom) rubble seen at the temple's location on August 31, 2015. (Unitar, A

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Athens - Ten countries formed a new group Monday aimed at protecting ancient heritage from extremism of the kind that saw the Islamic State group lay waste to Syria's historic Palmyra.

Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Greece, Italy, China, India, Bolivia, Mexico and Peru - all home to some of the world's most cherished archaeological sites - have signed up to the "forum" launched in Athens by ministers and ambassadors from the nations.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, whose government is spearheading the project along with China, said the group would run joint projects to promote "dialogue in the face of fanaticism, and culture in the face of terrorism".

"We're only just getting started," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Jihadists from the IS group seized the ancient ruins of Palmyra in May 2015, systematically destroying and looting the temples of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

The group also ravaged the Assyrian city of Nimrud in Iraq using bulldozers and explosives, and ransacked pre-Islamic treasures in Mosul's museum.

Bamiyan, in Afghanistan, and Mali's Timbuktu are other UNESCO sites to suffer destruction at the hands of Islamist extremists.

The new 10-country group is due to meet again in Bolivia next year, the Greek foreign ministry said.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said the project stood in contrast to the idea "put forward by several intellectuals of a clash of civilisations".

"We support dialogue between civilisations against the intolerance of which Daesh is a symbol," he said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

In March, seven countries including France and Saudi Arabia joined forces with US philanthropist Tom Kaplan to pledge $75.5 m to a UNESCO-backed fund aimed at protecting the world's cultural heritage against war and terrorism.

Their International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Zones, based in Geneva, aims to raise $100 m by 2019.

Read more on:    isis  |  unesco  |  syria  |  greece

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/World
 

For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.

 
 

Paws

Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.