Cultural property, as an invaluable testimony of history and identity to be preserved in all circumstances, contributes to the creation of a more peaceful, just and cohesive society. However, with alarming frequency, cultural property is targeted in both peace and wartime, often leading to a permanent destruction or loss of cultural heritage, with resulting impoverishment for humanity as a whole. It is stolen from museums, galleries, private collections, religious monuments or archaeological sites and illicitly trafficked via international organised crimes networks. This illegal trade has become a transnational phenomenon, bypassing national borders and local police checkpoints.
Therefore, in the framework of the Council of Europe Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property (also known as the “Nicosia Convention”), the Commissioner for Volunteerism and Non-Governmental Organisations of the Republic of Cyprus, in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, the Council of Europe and the European Union is organising a two-day Conference on 25 and 26 October (Filoxenia Conference Center, “Zenon Kitieus” Meeting Room, in Nicosia), to raise awareness and promote shared efforts at fighting offences relating to cultural property.
The event will be opened by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides and Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni (press statements will be delivered at 09:50 am).