THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY IS IRELAND'S LEADING BODY OF EXPERTS IN THE SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES

Watch Dr Mounir Bouchenaki discuss 'Cultural heritage and recent armed conflicts'

30 October 2020

If you missed the Discourse lecture by cultural heritage expert, Dr Mounir Bouchenaki, on 29 October 2020 or would like to watch it again, the video is now available to stream.

Dr Bouchenaki spoke about UNESCO, its formation and role in cultural heritage preservation, and the need for the efforts of UNESCO to continue to be supported by all its partners.  

Bouchenaki gave examples of intentional cultural destruction of cultural heritage in the 1990s in former Yugoslavia.  He described other examples of destruction in Aghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.

He also spoke of the rebuilding of damaged heritage sites under UNESCO coordination. He pointed to the Emirati Minister of Culture, Noura al-Kaabi’s announcement in 2018 of her country’s commitment to finance the reconstruction of the second largest city in Iraq:

The project, which will last five years, does not only aim to rebuild the mosque, the minaret and the infrastructure but (also)the churches and give hope to young Iraqis. Civilisation several thousand years old must be preserved.

Bouchenaki outlined the range of organisations in the international community which co-operate in the field for the protection of cultural heritage.  He ended by stressing his views that cultural heritage ‘should become a vehicle for dialogue and reconciliation.’There followed a response from Gráinne Shaffrey, President, ICOMOS Ireland and a Q&A session with the online audience.

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