Podcast: Nubian campaign - when UNESCO moved mountains

Wednesday, 20 March 2024 at 11:00
access_time 1 min read
© UNESCO | Nenadovic

This is the story of an archaeological rescue operation of unprecedented scale. In the midst of the Cold War, under the aegis of UNESCO, around fifty countries managed to put aside their differences to save, together, the treasures of ancient Egypt. Threatened by the waters of the Aswan High Dam under construction, they risked being lost forever. 

The Campaign for the Safeguarding of the Sites and Monuments of Nubia, launched at UNESCO headquarters in 1960, allowed for twenty-two architectural complexes to be moved and protected from water. Among these monuments are the iconic temples of Abu Simbel and Philae

Beyond technological prowess, the Nubian Campaign was able to see the light of day thanks to an unprecedented surge of international solidarity. Beyond saving the temples, this campaign established the idea that heritage was everyone's wealth. This idea came to fruition a few years later with the adoption of the 1972 UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

The epic story is told through archives from the UNESCO Courier, testimonies from the time and recent interviews.

The episode is produced by Katerina Markelova and Anuliina Savolainen and directed by Emmanuel Rudowski.
With the voices of Agnès Bardon, Julie Durand, Dov Lynch, Thomas Mallard, Edouard Planche and Emilie Wagner.

In this episode you will hear:

  • Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, French archaeologist specializing in Egyptology
  • Lazare Eloundou Assomo, Director of UNESCO World Heritage
  • Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist and former Egyptian minister of antiquities
  • Rex Keating, Director of the radio and television mission of UNESCO (1956-1971)
  • Bénédicte Lhoyer, Egyptologist and scientific advisor to the exhibition Ramses and the Gold of the Pharaohs (Paris, 2023)
  • André Malraux, French writer and politician
  • Vittorino Veronese, Director General of UNESCO 1958- 1961

Music: David Mauket © World Heritage Exhibitions

Hosted by Ausha

 Listen to the podcast

Wednesday, 20 March 2024 at 11:00
access_time 1 min read
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Africa Arab States