The international illicit trade in cultural property, specifically antiquities, is not only a major threat to the cultural heritage of the MENA region, but also a significant source of revenue for radical organizations operating in the region. While bilateral cultural property protection agreements are an important step to counter this trade, stronger collaboration among the countries of the region is needed to better partner on this issue.
In response to this, the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) in partnership with the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) and the US Department of State initiated a series of regional workshops. This initiative will bring together Ministry representatives and other officials from the region to discuss case studies, best practices, and expand their professional networks in the area of cultural property protection.
The conference consists of three-parts taking place between August 2021 and August 2023. The first part of the conference took place virtually from August 10-12, 2021. This is now being followed up with two in person workshops – the first of which will be in Jordan, from September 5-8, 2022 and the final conference will take place from June 8-12 2023 in Cairo, Egypt.
The First Regional Conference on Cultural Property Protection will bring together government officials from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine.