Egypt’s American Research Center hosts final part of Cultural Property Protection Conference

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 8 Jun 2023

The American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) hosted the last part of the two-day Cultural Property Protection conference in Cairo on Thursday. The event was titled Sustainable Documentation and Inventories Management.



It is funded by the US embassy in Cairo, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA), the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), and the US Department of State.

Hisham El-Leithy, Director General of Documentation of Egyptian Antiquities (CDEA), stated that the conference covers topics such as challenges, opportunities, sustainable software solutions, and documentation practices for cultural property. This includes public-private partnerships, regional and international cooperation, and legislative frameworks to manage heritage sites effectively and sustainably.

Louise Bertini, Executive Director of ARCE, mentioned that ministry representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, and Palestine will gather to discuss the importance of cultural property protection. This comes after the successful virtual conference on Digitization Management held from 10-12 August 2021, and the in-person conference in Jordan on Site Management from 5-8 September 2022.

Government officials and our partner organizations, including UNESCO, ISESCO, ALECSO, and ICOM, will emphasize the crucial role of documentation in preserving cultural heritage.

At the close of the conference, regional experts aim to create a white paper that outlines shared principles for successful site management strategies in the region. The paper will also offer recommendations for sustaining these strategies both regionally and in specific contexts.

Shaaban Abdel Gawad, Supervisor General of Antiquities Repatriation Department at MoTA, stated that the illicit trade of cultural property, particularly antiquities, poses a significant threat to the cultural heritage of the MENA region and generates revenue for radical organizations in the area.

Although bilateral agreements for cultural property protection are crucial in combating this trade, there is a need for stronger collaboration among regional countries to address this issue more effectively.

He also discussed Egypt's efforts to safeguard its cultural heritage and the retrieved objects in recent times.


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