Training Course “Preventing the Illicit Trade in Cultural Property”

The training course entitled “Preventing the Illicit Trade in Cultural Property” is a project  conceived and implemented by Biladi and Dr. Neil Brodie and is funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. It aims at building capacity by improving international understanding and cooperation between agencies and individuals with law enforcement responsibilities, with a view to promote more effective action against illicit trafficking in cultural objects and deterring thieves from looting and destroying cultural heritage.

In this context, 25 Lebanese and Syrian participants, affiliated to the archaeology and law fields,  took part of this training. This will help in creating  a network of people with the competence necessary to take effective action against the illicit trade in cultural property out of the Middle East, a region suffering more than most from a hemorrhage of cultural objects due to war, civil disturbance and economic collapse.

The preparation of course content was done under the supervision of Dr Neil Brodie, currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly, archaeologist-journalist who worked on heritage in war for the last 2 decades and is the founder and manager of Biladi.

Invited experts are from INTERPOL, the Université de Genève, De Paul University (Chicago), Art Loss Register, Netherlands Police, Lebanon Police, UNESCO… Each expert is a leading international authority on cultural property protection.

The training was delivered in Beirut over two separate weeks. The first one took place between 20 and 25 January 2017; the second week from the 17 till the 22 February 2017.

Certificates of completion of the course are to be delivered at the final ceremony on February 23, at UNESCO palace in Beirut with the presence of the Norwegian Ambassador in Lebanon, the President and the General Secretary of Blue Shield.


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