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Nurturing the democratic debate.  
06-08-2003 4:15 am Some 30 experts who met in Tokyo on August 1 and 2 at the joint initiative of UNESCO, the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (BUNKACHO) and the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, issued recommendations aiming at coordinating international efforts to safeguard Iraq’s cultural heritage and ensure the reopening of the Iraq Museum in the best possible conditions.
In a declaration at the end of their work, the experts recommended that measures be taken:

1)To complete the provision of equipment and material - including security systems - within a comprehensive conservation plan in order to ensure the functioning and re-opening of the museum, and with a view to strengthen the capacity of its personnel.
2)To reinforce security and patrolling at historic buildings, cultural institutions and archaeological sites, by establishing a long-term training programme for local police and military forces.
3)To establish internationally agreed UNESCO standards for documenting historic buildings and archaeological sites.
4)To ensure the sustainability of cultural institutions in Iraq, by carrying out a thorough needs assessment on the basis of a comprehensive questionnaire, including archives and libraries in the country.
5)To request the Director-General of UNESCO to establish as soon as possible an International Coordination Committee for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of Iraq under the auspices of the future Government of Iraq and UNESCO, to meet on a regular basis to ensure that international assistance be carried out to the highest international standards and upon selected priorities requested by the Iraqi authority.
6)To sustain and revive national and local capacities for the safeguarding of the Iraqi intangible cultural heritage, in particular in the area of the arts and folklore, by setting up a devoted programme to this end.
7) To urge States which have not yet ratified the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property to take appropriate measures in this regard in the spirit of UN Security Council Resolution 1483 (article 7).

The following experts took part at the Tokyo meeting: David Grattan (Canada), Manager for Conservation Processes and Materials of the Canadian Conservation Institute, Jean-Marie Arnoult (France), General Inspector of Libraries and Archives; Margarete Van Ess (Germany) Director, German missions to Uruk, German Archaeological Institute, Berlin; Muayyad Said Al Damerji (Iraq) Senior Adviser for Cultural Heritage Iraqi Ministry of Culture; Khalil Jaber (Iraq), Director-General of Antiquities; Nawala Mutawalli (Iraq), Director of Iraqi Museum, Baghdad; Selma Al Radi (Iraq) University of New York; Giuseppe Proietti (Italy) Head of Archaeology of the Ministry of Culture of Italy; Roberto Parapetti (Italy) Director, Italian-Iraqi Centre for the Restoration of Monuments in Baghdad; Shigeo Aoki (Japan), Director, Department of Restoration Techniques, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties; Katsihiko Onuma (Japan) Institute for Cultural Studies of Ancient Iraq, Kokushikan University; Tsukasa Kawada (Japan), Deputy Director-General of Cultural Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Hayao Kawai (Japan) Commissioner for Cultural Affairs; Masaaki Sawada (Japan), Tsukuba University; Hiroshi Nozaki (Japan) Director of National Museum; Ikuo Hirayama, (Japan) President of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music; Ken Matsumoto (Japan) Head Director of the Institute for Cultural Studies of Ancient Iraq, Kokushikan University; Karoku Miwa (Japan) Director-General, Office of the Planning and Development, Kyusyu National Museum; Akiyoshi Watanabe (Japan) Director of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. Veysel Donbaz (Turkey) Director of the Tablet Archive, Istanbul Archaeological Museum; John Curtis, Keeper of Department of the Ancient Near East, The British Museum (UK); Bonnie Gardiner, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, State Department (USA); McGuire Gibson (USA) Director, American Archaeological Missions to Nippur and Tell Razuk; Michael Petzet, President of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), Abdelaziz Daoulatli, International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM); Jacques Perot, President of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

For further information
UNESCO and Iraq website

Source Press Release No.2003-49


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