8. mei, 2016

FACING THE CHAOS Heritage Protection in the XXI century

Facing the chaos (a Russian perspective) May 19-20-2016

An International Conference 

Institute of Oriental Manuscripts

Dvortsovaya nab., 18, 191186 St.Petersburg, Russia

In the last two years the theme of cultural heritage destruction in the Near East became widely known, thanks to the activities of a terrorist group smashing monuments on purpose. However the hype created by such modern iconoclastic actions distracts attention from the true reasons and meaning of the calamities that befell the shared human heritage in Iraq, Syria, but also in Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya and other countries. 
It seems fair to say that, what the state- and private-sponsored terror in these countries brought about, is not just the type of war destruction that humankind saw so much of. This time it is the very heart of our culture, the very roots of many things that formed today’s civilisation.
It was in this region that the first ever writing system (cuneiform), the first urbanisations and statehood, the first written laws, scientific thoughts and poetic creations saw the light of day. It was there, the Eastern Mediterranean coast that many religions, including Christianity were born and further developed.  
What really has become the fate of the cultural heritage in the Near East, starting from the 1990s up to now? and what can we, the Russians, do to protect the world’s tangible and intangible heritage? In this context we cannot just speak of stones and statues that were covered by earth for millennia. We must also speak of the people living with this heritage today trying to keep ancient traditions alive, as well as their ways of thinking and their specific knowledge and love for their eternal lands. 

The conference wants to start and stimulate dialogue and cooperation between all different Russian stakeholders dealing with cultural heritage in the event of conflict, traditional academic actors as well as military parties.

As part of a conclusion, the conference aims at outlining measures and recommendations practically feasible from within Russia to protect and safeguard Near Eastern heritage.


The programme is subject to change. Updated version will be posted here: http://vk.com/wall-120012186, "The Braves", https://www.facebook.com/thebravesira


and at the site of the Institute, http://www.orientalstudies.ru


May 19-20- 2016

Lectures in random order (draft program 6 may version)


Irina Popova, Director of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts; 

Vitaly Naumkin, President of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Moscow, Russia;

Mamoun Abdulkarim, Director General of Antiquities and Museums, Syria

A Brief Presentation of the DGAM response to the Cultural Heritage Crisis in Syria  

(a video recording)

Abdulamir Hamdani, State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Iraq

The Story of the Destruction of Iraq's Heritage 

Anna Paolini, Head of the UNESCO Office at Doha, Qatar

The work of UNESCO in Iraq, Syria and Yemen in Recent Years

Asya Engovatova, Deputy Director of the Institute of Archeology, Russia

The Legislation of Russian Federation on the Prevention of Illegal Archaelogic Research and Sale of Archaelogical Artefacts from Areas of Armed Conflicts (Theory and Practice)

Vitaly Naumkin, President of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russia

Practical Aspects of the Russian Socotran Expedition

Rauf Munchaev, Head of the Syrian Archaelogical Expedition of Russian Academy of Sciences

Shahmardan Amirov, Senior Researcher of the Institute of Archeology, Russia 

Research in Syria by the Archaeological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1988-2010

Vladimir Zolotarev, First Class Active State Advisor of the Russian Federation, Major-General, Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Professor at the Military University of the Russian Ministry of Defense

The Problem of the Heritage Protection as Seen by the Military

Joris Kila, Independent Researcher, The Hague, Netherlands.

Cultural Property Protection and the Military: Why, How, When?

Natalie May, Free University, Germany 

Iconoclasm in the Near East, Ancient and Modern

Layla Salih, Curator of Mosul Museum, Iraq

The Events in the Mosul Museum

Alexei Jankowski, Alexander Foundation, Russia 

An Overview of the Online Satellite and Ground Evidence of the Damage to the Archaelogical Sites in Syria

Dmitri Pirbari, Head of the Yazidi Council of Georgia, Head of the Georgian Centre for Yazidi Studies, Georgia 

Sarsal, the Yazidi New Year Festival

Olga Zeitlin, Legal Counsel of the «Migrants and Law» Network of the Anti-Discrimination Centre «Memorial», Russia 

The Status of Migrants in Russia in the Light of the Intangible Heritage Protection

Pascal Butterlin, Head of the French excavations at Tell Hariri / Mari, Syria - France

Mari and the Syrian Crisis (by Skype)

Natalia Koslova, Head of the Oriental Department of the State Hermitage Museum, Russia

The Hermitage Collection of Cuneiform Documents

Abdulamir Hamdani, State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Iraq

The Current National and International Archaeological Projects in Iraq

Talal Awwad, International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering Technical Commission on Soil-Structure Interaction (ISSMG TC207), Professor at Damascus University, Syria

Alexander Shashkin, General Director of the Georecontstruction Group of Companies

Vladimir Ulitsky, Head of the Department of Bases and Foundations at the St.Petersburg State Transport University, ISSMG TC207 Chairman

The Problems of the Rescue of Syrian Cultural Monuments

Ludovic Ehrhart, Head of the Central Office for the Fight against The Traffic of Cultural Goods, France  TBC

Mounir Arbach, Researcher of the Laboratory of Ancient Semitic Studies, CNRS, France

Getting Yemeni Artefacts from Clandestine Digging back to Museums

Sergei Frantsouzoff, Head of the Middle and Near East Section of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russia

The Fate of the Inscriptions from Raibun, Yemen

Waddah Al-Jundi, Chairman of the St.Petersburg Center of Russian-Arabic Cooperation, Russia

Destructions in Syria and the Russian Public Opinion