Qatar National Library raises awareness on the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention in the Arab region

Within the framework of the Himaya Project to fight the trafficking of cultural property, the IFLA PAC Regional Center at Qatar National Library wished, at an online webinar held on 21 May 2024, to raise awareness on UNIDROIT’s contribution to the fight against illegal trade in cultural objects and in particular how to facilitate the restitution of stolen heritage and the return of illegally exported cultural items.

After an introduction about the Himaya Project by Maxim Nasra, Head of Preservation and Conservation, QNL, Ms Marina Schneider, Principal Legal Officer and Treaty Depositary at UNIDROIT explained the procedures and mechanisms established by the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects to facilitate restitution, with a focus on the advantages for Arab countries to join. It was also an opportunity to stress the synergies of the 1995 Convention with other international instruments such as the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the importance of tools of other partners for a better implementation of the 1995 Convention (for example the INTERPOL Stolen Works of Art database and the ICOM Red Lists). The presentation was followed by a lively Q & A session.

UNIDROIT and QNL have been collaborating in the Himaya project for some time to strengthen the legal framework of Arab States to protect their cultural heritage and have projects for the next future.



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