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Protecting Heritage: The Work Of Heritage For Peace And Others In Syria

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Emma CunliffeORCiD


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The large-scale destruction of historical buildings, museum collections, and archaeological sites by different actors during the Syrian conflict has led to the development of initiatives and programs by International Organisations (IOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). This paper discusses one of these initiatives: the work of Heritage for Peace. In 2013, the NGO Heritage for Peace was created in Spain. It is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to support all Syrians in their efforts to protect and safeguard Syria’s cultural heritage during the conflict. This paper begins with the idea behind Heritage for Peace (HfP). It will then give an overview of the work being done to protect Syria’s heritage by the NGO. Within this context, we then present the Syrian Heritage Law Training (SHELTr) project. SHELTr aims to provide an online curriculum, offered to Islamic court staff, heritage workers and government officials across opposition-held areas in Syria. After carrying out a survey of lawyers, imams, and archaeologists, HfP—with the support of Save Muslim Heritage and the Gerda Henkel Foundation—designed a course looking at cultural heritage destruction under three different frameworks: Syrian domestic law, Islamic law, and International Humanitarian law. We will present the ongoing work of this project, and perspectives for the future. Finally, the paper will highlight some of the difficulties that the NGO has faced during its work and some lessons learned during its operation. By necessity, this chapter provides only a brief overview of five years of work: HfP are currently preparing an analysis that looks in depth at the work of the NGO, and evaluates all of its successes, its failures and the reasons why.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sabrine I, Cunliffe E

Editor(s): Jackson, H., Jamieson, A., and Russell., S.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Heritage In Conflict

Year: 2021

Pages: 71-84

Print publication date: 14/08/2020

Acceptance date: 14/08/2020

Series Title: Ancient Near Eastern Studies Supplement Series

Publisher: Peeters

Place Published: Leuven


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9789042943179