Statement by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterraneanon the killing of Palmyra Archeologist Prof. Al Asaad

Statement by the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean
on the killing of Palmyra Archeologist Prof. Al Asaad

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) welcomes the initiative launched by the Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, whereby all the Italian Museums have flown at half mast the Italian flag in memory of the Syrian archeologist, Prof. Khaled Al Asaad, former director of the Palmyra site, who has been executed by the criminal terrorists of  ISIS. Prof. Al Asaad lost his life in a last attempt to protect this unique cultural heritage from the hands of unscrupulous artifact traders, who are taking advantage of the terrorist support to carry out this systematic looting of the world common heritage.

PAM wishes to recall the conference, which jointly organized with UNESCO, and hosted by the Parliament of the Kingdom of Morocco, under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, was dedicated, last May, to “The protection of World Cultural Heritage threatened with destruction”.

The Rabat Parliamentary Hearing recommended, inter alia, that governments demonstrate the utmost political will, and take joint action, to counter acts of destruction and looting of World Cultural Heritage in many regions of the world, and parliaments were invited to promote in their respective regions and national fora, the provisions of the relevant international conventions, the Resolutions on this matter by the United Nations Security Council, UNESCO, IPU and PAM.

The threat on Palmyra, the killing of Prof. Al Asaad, and today’s destruction of the 5th century Christian Monastery of Mar Elian, close to the city of Homs, highlight the need for an urgent international action, showing the tangible determination to safeguard the heritage of the Mediterranean civilizations, and the lives of so many dedicated professionals who, on their own, cannot counter the atrocious acts perpetrated by a few barbaric hoards in the region.

Malta, 21 August 2015

Palazzo Spinola,
St. George Road,
St. Julians, STJ 3207

Tel: .+356 22 48 42 00.
Fax: +356 22 48 42 15.
Email: secretariat at pam dot int
Copyright 2015
Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean