of Joachim Bretschneider to the international expert meeting “Rallying the
International Community to Safeguard Syria’s Cultural Heritage” in the
headquarters of Unesco – Paris 26 – 28 of May 2014.

The meeting brought together more than
120 experts from 22 countries to share information, devise policies and improve
international cooperation during the conflict and beyond. They included
cultural heritage specialists from Syria and the Syrian diaspora,
representatives of Syrian NGOs, archeologists, and members of UNESCO
institutional partners, as well as academics from universities in the Middle
East and beyond. Representatives of major international auction houses also
took part in the meeting.

“In some areas we are reaching the point
of no return where Syria’s cultural heritage is concerned,” cautioned Irina
Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. “The destruction of heritage represents a
cultural hemorrhage in addition to the tragic humanitarian crisis and suffering
experienced by the people of Syria”.

© UNESCO / Professor Maamoun Abdul
Karim, Aleppo & Apamea