Today Mr Mamoun Abdulkarim, Director-General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM, Syrian Arab Republic) met with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, Assistant Director-General for Culture Francesco Bandarin, and Director of the World Heritage Centre Mechtild Rössler, as well as experts in the field of heritage conservation.

Discussions focused on the state of the art of cultural heritage in Syria, the measures taken by the DGAM for its protection in times of conflict, risk preparedness and mitigation actions undertaken to protect movable heritage from Syria’s museums and archaeological sites, as well as specific conservation issues at the Syrian World Heritage sites included on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The request from the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in Bonn, Germany in July 2015 concerning the Ancient City of Damascus (Syrian Arab Republic) “to invite, as soon as the security conditions allow, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to Syria to assess the state of conservation of the properties and elaborate, in consultation with the State Party, a prioritized action plan for their recovery” was also considered.

The Director-General told Mr Abdulkarim, “You are a hero to heritage preservation. UNESCO supports you and all those who work so tirelessly to protect our shared heritage. Your courage is exemplary.”.

For more information about protecting Syrian cultural heritage: