Is it possible to protect heritage in time of war? This was the challenge facing UNESCO in the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) in 2000 and which led to the launch of the "Biodiversity Conservation in Regions of Armed Conflict: Conserving World Heritage Sites in the DRC" programme, developed with the United Nations Foundation, the Government of the DRC, conservation organizations working in DRC and the support of the Government of Belgium. It is vital to preserve this exceptionally rich ecosystem, part of a tropical forest that is second only to the Amazonian forest. With the first phase of the project drawing to a close at the end of this year, now is the time to evaluate the major axes of the second phase. This is the goal set by UNESCO and the United Nations Foundation (UNF) in organizing, thanks to the financial assistance of UNF, Japan and Belgium, the first major international event in support of Congo's World Heritage in Danger .

From September 10-26, the general public will be offered the opportunity to appreciate the treasures of these World Heritage sites and to learn about the threats they face. Under the high patronage of Mr Jacques Chirac , President of France, and Mr Joseph Kabila , President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, three main events will set the pace for this occasion :

"CONGO - Nature and Culture in the Democratic Republic of the Congo"

10 -26 September 2004

Admission free (identification required)
Open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (except holidays)

Curated by the Royal Museum for Central Africa of Tervuren , Belgium, the World's leading museum and research institute on the Congo's heritage, the multi-themed exhibition demonstrates the links uniting culture and nature in the DRC through natural resources, languages, symbolic rituals and daily life. Spectacular mounted animals including an okapi and a mountain gorilla and a vast array of ethnographic objects will be displayed in Paris for the first time.

Under the high patronage of His Majesty Albert II , King of Belgians.

The exhibition will open in the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Tervuren, Belgium) from 23 November 2004 to 2 October 2005.

Concert "CONGO - Rhythms and Rumba"

Thursday, 23 September 2004, at 8:30 p.m.

Admission: 17 euros - Tickets available at usual selling points : Fnac, Virgin, Carrefour.
Phone : 08 92 68 36 22 or 08 25 129 139
Internet: -

Because the Congo is a source of inspiration for all African music, UNESCO will welcome the major artists of the country for a one-off Congolese Rumba Concert. Groups such as Elima de Maître Nono (traditional music), Kékélé (music from the 60's to the 80's), as well as Makutano (soukous, music of the past 20 years), will accompany artists playing an array of tunes from the Congolese musical repertoire: Passi, Papa Wemba, Ray Lema, Djouna, Akademia, Bonga, Yondo Sister, Odito, Isa Fleur du Congo, Sam Mangwana, Faya Tess, Abby Surya, So Kalmery, Diblo Dibala and Gina Wagina .

Patrons : Mr Hervé Bourges and Mr Claude Makélélé .

All the proceeds from the concert will finance conservation projects in the five DRC sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

International Donor's conference and technical workshops

Reserved for experts and donors, open to the press

The conference and the workshops aim at assessing past initiatives in the field, to define the needs for the future and to attract new partnership initiatives.

Practical information


  • Entrance for the exhibit and the conference
    7 place de Fontenoy, Paris 75007
  • Entrance for the concert
    125 avenue de Suffren, Paris 75007
  • Metro: Ségur, Cambronne, Ecole militaire - Bus, 28, 80
  • General public information : + 33 (0)1 45 68 05 16 or

Exhibition: Admission free (identification required)
Open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (except holidays)
Concert: 17 euros - Tickets available at usual selling points : Fnac, Virgin, Carrefour.
Phone : 08 92 68 36 22 or 08 25 129 139
Internet: -

Press contact

Journalists who would like the press kit, photos, accreditation for the event, or any further information should contact:

Lora Houssaye
Bureau of Public Information and Cultural Events (BPI/PCE)
UNESCO Headquarters : 7 place de Fontenoy - 75007 Paris
Tel. : 01 45 68 05 15 - Fax : 01 45 68 56 40 - e-mail :