In the context of ongoing upheaval and destruction of cultural heritage, U.S. Department of State and The Metropolitan Museum of Art held an event titled “Heritage in Peril: Iraq and Syria” on September 22, 2014 in New York City amid the United Nations General Assembly week.
The event’s keynote address was delivered by U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who called for an end to the destruction of culture in these countries. Additional remarks were given by representatives from international heritage organizations, namely Irina Bokova (UNESCO), Elizabeth Duggal (U.S. National Committee of the International Council of Museums); Bonnie Burnham (World Monuments Fund); Zaki Aslan (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property); and Michael Danti (The American Schools of Oriental Research).
Secretary Kerry stressed the importance of acting now to safeguard the cultural heritage of Iraq and Syria, stating that “we gather in the midst of one of the most tragic and most outrageous assaults on our shared heritage that perhaps any of us have seen in a lifetime.” He continued by underlining that the situation is “not just a tragedy for the Syrian and the Iraqi people..[but] for all civilized people” noting that culture “is the foundation of life.”
“Heritage in Peril: Iraq and Syria” (2014 MMA event)
“Saving Syria’s cultural Heritage” (2013 Red List Launch Event)