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 Thorbjørn 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.
The deliberations of the Colloquium will be transmitted live through the website of the Council http://webtv.coe.int/index.php?EventID=69./IBNA
Draft program of the Colloquium
9.30-10.30 – OPENING SESSION
Opening of the Colloquium by Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary of the Council of Europe
Welcome Address by Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus
Address by Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO (tbc)
10.30-11.30 – SESSION I: Facing the threats to cultural property: Fighting illicit destruction, excavation and trafficking in cultural property
Prof. Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Director General of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums, Syria
Ms Fatou Besouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
Questions and Answers
11.30-12.00 Coffee break
12.00-13.00 – SESSION II: Strengthening the response to the protection of cultural property, improving capacity and international cooperation
Mr Hans-Holger Herrnfeld, Chair of the Committee of Offences relating to Cultural Property (PC-IBC)
Ms Anna Veneziano, Deputy Secretary-General of UNIDROIT
Questions and Answers
13.00 End of the Colloquium