On Wednesday the 18th of May 2016, FONDEMA hosted the round table Discussion entitled “Cultural Heritage in Today’s Southern Mediterranean Region: Exploring the state of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and contemporary safeguarding efforts” in the speakers corner at The Hague University of Applied Science.
This marked another incredible event by the foundation whose main goal is “to work together towards renewed understanding between cultures for the well-being of all”. With this event FONDEMA managed to further develop the communication of culture and heritage across the Mediterranean region and created a space to raise awareness and discussion. This event managed to highlight the extraordinary tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Middle Eastern and Northern African region and the dangers of losing these.
The event commenced with an introduction and words of greeting form FONDEMA’s founder and director Eveline J.A. America.
Antje Grebner of The Hague University moderated the discussion with grace. The five speakers present, allowed for a variety of perspectives towards this topic.
Each speaker gave a 10-minute introduction starting with Dr. Marilena Vecco, Assistance Professor of Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
She discussed the conservation and impact of cultural heritage and the shocking events and deeds of ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq.
Dr. Olivier Nieuwenhuijse, Research Fellow at Leiden University/Centre for Global Heritage and Development, followed her presentation, explaining the safeguarding of artifacts from an archeological point of few.
Ms. Koosje Spitz, Program Coordinator for Culture and Heritage in Crisis Situations for Netherlands Commission for UNESCO, allowed an insight into UNESCO’s role and functions regarding cultural heritage in the area.
Dr. Claudio Cimino, Secretary General of WATCH (World Association for the Protection of Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage in times of armed conflicts), highlighted the importance of inter-agency cooperation and Civil Military Cooperation. Lastly, Dr. Simona Pinton, Lawyer and Senior Research Fellow At Ca’Foscari University and University of Washington, allowed insight into the International Law aspect regarding the destruction, protection and safeguarding cultural heritage.
After the presentations, guests could enjoy conversations and refreshments during the break before the moderated discussion began.
This allowed for the audience to join the debate. Among the distinguished guests were H. E. Mr. Abdelouahab Bellouki, Ambassador of Morocco as well as many others.