Protecting Cultural Heritage in an Uncertain Time

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Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - From 9:30 am To 5:00 pm

Location: NYU Washington, DC - 1307 L Street, NW - Washington, DC

Protecting Cultural Heritage in an Uncertain Time

ew York University, in partnership with Friends of Florence and the City of Florence, and in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute, will convene two meetings to commemorate the anniversary of “L’Alluvione,” a flood that ravaged the city of Florence and damaged countless pieces of art of immeasurable value, some irreparably. On the occasion of that commemoration, the two conferences, one in Washington, DC and the other in Florence, Italy will call attention to an equally devastating contemporary challenge to our cultural patrimony: intentional destruction of cultural property for ideological reasons.



NYU Washington, DC
1307 L Street, NW
Washington, DC

This symposium brings together regional actors together with international experts and scholars from the fields of art, conservation and museums, international culture, law and law enforcement agencies and organizations to discuss the challenges and solutions to protecting our cultural heritage.

Cultural heritage is increasingly in danger of intentional destruction or incidental damage in the context of war and terrorism. The attack on the temples and burial towers of Palmyra in Syria is the latest shocking example of a systematic campaign of bombing, smashing, bulldozing and otherwise destroying irreplaceable cultural properties, for ideological reasons, across the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, extremist groups are generating income trafficking items looted from archaeological sites and museums in these conflict areas. The international community is struggling to cope with the destruction, which seems to be continuing unabated. The United Nations Security Council, in a resolution addressed to the destruction by ISIL and the Al-Nusrah Front of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria, called upon the international community to take steps, in cooperation with Interpol, UNESCO and other international organizations, to prevent the trafficking in items of cultural, scientific and religious importance illegally removed from either country during periods of conflict.