X

Qatar National Library marks International Day against Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property

Nov 16, 2021 by QNL

Doha, Qatar - November 16, 2021 – To mark the second International Day Against Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property, Qatar National Library hosted a high-level virtual panel discussion about the efforts to counter the trafficking and illegal circulation of antiquities and documentary heritage in the region. The webinar was a joint effort between the Library and a number of regional and international organizations, including the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

His Excellency Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, Minister of State, Qatar and President of Qatar National Library, inaugurated the session with a keynote speech. Speakers Barbara Lison, President of IFLA, and Dr. Mohamed Zinelabidine, Director of Culture Department at the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), shed light on the importance of heritage protection, with Tan Huism, Executive Director of the Library, concluding the session.

On the occasion, His Excellency Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, Minister of State, Qatar and President of Qatar National Library said, “It is a pleasure to open today's session to celebrate the second International Day Against Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property. I have absolute confidence in our ability to prevent the loss of rare and valuable heritage materials if we collaborate with stakeholders in the Arab region and the Muslim world, to reach practical and realistic solutions that protect and preserve our heritage. We have a collective responsibility to protect and defend our history to allow future generations to connect with their past and preserve their memory and identity. At Qatar National Library protection of heritage materials is a top priority, and we have pledged to spare no effort to this end.”

“While the illicit trade in cultural property is not a new phenomenon, its pace has increased in recent years, and has emerged especially in the Arab world because of its rich cultural heritage and antiquities. The increase is also due to the region facing constant destructive military conflicts of an international and local nature,” Dr. Hamad further added.

The session explored the initiatives taken by the Library to protect documentary heritage from being stolen and combat the illegal circulation of cultural and historical items. The Library also launched Himaya, a one-of-a-kind practical project that focuses solely on documentary heritage. The Library continues to host seminars and training courses to raise awareness around the ongoing illicit trafficking issue and hopes global entities will also cooperate to protect world history.

International Day Against Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Property was adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 2019, marking 14 November 2020 as the first annual celebration. The day was commemorated to raise awareness about illicit trafficking of heritage material and encourage international communities to reinforce the fight against cultural property loss.

 

To learn more about our ongoing events and initiatives, please visit the Events page on the Library’s website (https://www.qnl.qa/en/events).