Cyprus Chairmanship of the CoE organizes a colloquy on the protection of cultural heritage

High-level representatives from international organisations and national governments, as well as academic experts, will gather in Strasbourg on 13 January for a colloquy aimed at strengthening cooperation to protect cultural heritage from wanton destruction and preventing the illicit trafficking of cultural goods.

Organised jointly by the Cypriot Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the Secretary General of the Council, Mr ThorbjA�rn Jagland, the event will focus on the illicit excavation, sale and acquisition of cultural property, which has become a lucrative trade often linked to cross-border organised crime and terrorism.

Keynote speakers include Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Mrs Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Professor Mammoun Abdulkarim, the Director General of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums in Syria and Mrs Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Also addressing the event are Mr Hans-Holger Herrnfeld, Chair of the Committee on Offences relating to Cultural Heritage, and Mrs Anna Veneziano, the Deputy Secretary-General of UNIDROIT.

The Council of Europe is currently preparing a new Convention on Offences related to Cultural Property, which will become the only international treaty focusing on criminal measures and sanctions on illicit activities in the field of cultural heritage.

Source: Press and Information Office