Dr Katie A. Paul discusses work by the Antiquities Coalition to bring together the international community to protect heritage. Work completed so far includes policy recommendations, information tools, conferences, and the building of a Task Force.
Since the 2011 Arab Spring, throughout the Middle East and North Africa, heritage is increasingly being used as terrorist financing tool and weapon of war. Some of the world’s most iconic ancient sites and masterpieces have now been lost to armed conflict, targeted destruction, and organized plunder. While the crisis seems overwhelming, the world is fighting back. This September in Amman, 17 MENA nations will come together at the Second Annual #CultureUnderThreat Conference, hosted by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. This ministerial summit is part of a continuing global initiative launched by the Antiquities Coalition, a nongovernmental organization based in Washington, DC. Since its creation in 2014, the Antiquities Coalition has worked to build the political will needed to fight cultural racketeering, while supporting actions by policymakers, governments, and art market players working to achieve this same goal. This presentation will review the Antiquities Coalition’s #CultureUnderThreat programs, including its ministerial summits in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as an international experts’ task force to develop solutions to the ongoing crisis, and efforts to raise awareness of cultural racketeering in the region and beyond