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March 15, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - , 1 comment

Passing out "Save Egypt" buttons at UNESCO's 40th Anniversary of the 1970 Convention

Gihane Zaki, Director General, Nubia Fund, Ministry of Culture for Egypt wearing SAFE's button

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin

ARCA Alum (Class 2009) Julia Brennan arranged with Saving Antiquities for Everyone (SAFE) to ship some buttons to me to promote cultural heritage protection in Egypt at the 40th commemoration meeting of UNESCO in Paris today. The gesture appeared worthwhile as one of the themes of today's discussions was promoting awareness of the importance of protecting the artifacts of culture. Although Zahi Hawass was unable to attend the meeting as scheduled, Egypt's representative from the Ministry of Culture was Gihane Zaki, Director General of the Nubia Fund. She put on the button, "Say Yes to Egypt's Heritage" and gamely posed for the photo promised Cindy Ho at SAFE. Ms. Zaki took additional buttons for her staff to wear at tomorrow's meeting. Dr. Zahi Hawass did post his 'address' to UNESCO on his site here. More reports here on the blog will follow regarding the meeting in the next few days.


Catherine, I would be especially interested to hear if there was any discussion of concrete steps that either UNESCO or member nations are or could be taking, beyond calling for the return of smuggled artifacts, to secure (or at the very least document so they can be traced) the materials that are in danger of being looted from sites, storehouses, and museums. That's much more important than restitution at this point.