An urgent and firm response to the destruction of heritage in Syria and Iraq

October 26, 2015

Hatra-thumbThe Italian association Incontro di Civiltà has drafted an appeal to counter the destruction of cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq and to support its preservation and restoration.

The appeal is the result of considerable reflection which has brought together scholars, archaeologists, legal experts and cultural representatives in order to arrive at a set of challenging, but achievable proposals that will place Italy at the front lines.

Stefano De Caro, ICCROM Director-General has signed the appeal on behalf of the organization. The document cites ICCROM in its capacity to train technical staff, conservators and custodians in prevention and first aid interventions, and as a point of reference regarding educational programmes for heritage and culture aimed at refugees.

Read the appeal in English

Read the appeal in Italian

The appeal was presented to UNESCO, which has in turn committed to supporting the initiative through its #Unite4Heritage campaign. In the meantime, UNESCO has also approved the proposal put forth by the Italian government to have the United Nation’s Blue Helmets protect heritage sites around the world from attacks by militants.

Incontro di Civiltà is headed by Francesco Rutelli, former mayor of Rome and former Minister of Culture. It promotes initiatives to raise awareness among international decision makers on the catastrophic effects that terrorism is having on culture and identity.

Signatories to date:

Paolo Baratta, President of the Venice Biennale

Roberto Benigni, Oscar winner for Best Actor in a Leading Role and for Best Foreign Language Film in 1999

Andrea Carandini, Archaeologist, President of FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano)

Milena Canonero, Oscar winner for Best Costume Design in 1975, 1981, 2006 and 2015

Liliana Cavani, Director and Writer

Stefano De Caro, Director-General of ICCROM

Emmanuele Francesco Maria Emanuele, President of Fondazione Roma

Giorgio Ferrara, Artistic Director of the Festival of Spoleto

Dante Ferretti, Oscar for Best Art Direction in 2005, 2008 and 2012

Carla Fracci,  world renown ballet dancer

Franco Frattini, President of the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI)

Francesca Lo Schiavo, Oscar winner for Best Art Direction in 2005, 2008 and 2012

Andrea Marcucci, President of the Culture Committee at the Italian Senate

Paolo Matthiae, Director of the Italian Archaeological Expedition to Syria since 1963

Giovanna Melandri, President of the MAXXI Foundation, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts

Ennio Morricone, Honorary Oscar winner in 2007

Riccardo Muti, World renowned Music Director

Flavia Piccoli Nardelli, President of the Culture, Science, and Education Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies

Antonio Paolucci, Director of the Vatican Museums

Gabriella Pescucci, Oscar winner for Best Costume Design in 1994

Nicola Piovani, Best Original Dramatic Score Oscar Roberto Benigni’s film Life is Beautiful in 1999

Arnaldo Pomodoro, renowned Italian Sculptor

Gabriele Salvatores, Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 1992

Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, President of the Committee of Italian Foundations of Contemporary Art

Paolo Sorrentino, Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 2014

Tullio Scovazzi, Professor of International Law at the University of Milano-Bicocca

Giuseppe Tornatore, Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 1990

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