Assistant Foreign Minister for Cultural Relations Olfat Farah said Egypt will host an international conference organized by the Foreign Ministry on May 13 and 14, which is the first of its kind in the world to discuss the deliberate looting and destruction of ancient artifacts in the region by militants, as well as illegal excavations and trade of cultural property, which has steadily increased since 2011.
Farah said on Monday that foreign and antiquities ministers of Arab states will attend the conference, in addition to international organizations concerned with the protection of cultural, including the UNESCO.
She added that the conference is pivotal for preserving the cultural and civilizational heritage of the region, which is in the end the heritage of humanity as a whole.
For her part, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said that she will participate in this important event in an attempt to coordinate regional and international efforts to find innovative solutions for these problems.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm