The Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield deplores the closure of universities and schools and the destruction of libraries, museums, and archaeological sites in and around Mosul as publicised recently by the self-styled 'Islamic State'.
We support the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2199, the recent request by the Director General of UNESCO, Mrs. Irina Bokova, for a special meeting of the UN Security Council and the joint statement by the Director General andDr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), regarding the destruction of the World Heritage property of Hatra.
The targeted closure of educational establishments, the burning of knowledge gathered in Mosul's libraries and archives, and the destruction of the fragmentary remains of ancient societies held in its museums and archaeological sites, goes against what the modern, civilized world believes to be fundamentally and unequivocally important: that the continuing search for understanding and an awareness of those who have gone before us is central to our present and our future. We build on our collective human past to understand the present in order to build the future. Without the past we diminish our present and our children's future.
The world needs to help protect those most affected by the emergence of 'Islamic State' but it also needs to help to protect the fragmentary remains of their and our past and their access to education and knowledge.
Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield
More than 250 leading academics and experts have signed an open letter calling on the UN to ban the trade of Syrian artefacts.
Read the full letter here
Illicit trafficking in works of art and cultural property has become a serious business over the past decades.
The International Council on Museums (ICOM) helps to bring this serious issue to light through the ICOM International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods.
Learn about good practices, awareness-raising, due diligence and much more here
PROTECTION OF IRAQI CULTURAL HERITAGE SITES
Blue Shield is appalled by the great suffering and loss of life in the current fighting in Iraq and expresses great concern about the safety of Iraq's invaluable cultural and historical heritage.
Blue Shield urges all armed combatants to observe the international laws that protect cultural heritage and to act responsibly, safeguarding the testimony of Iraq's unique history for the enrichment of future generations.