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Pres. Migliore addresses the Naples Conference of the Ministers of Culture of the Euro-Mediterranean Region

Naples, 17 June – The Conference of the Ministers of Culture of the Euro-Mediterranean Region, which took place in Naples on 16-17 June, is the first culture ministerial meeting of the EU-Southern Partnership.

The conference, held in coordination with the French Presidency of the EU, saw the participation of various ministers and leaders from the EU and Southern Neighborhood partner countries, and several international organizations including UNESCO. 

The debate included the protection of cultural heritage in the face of international crises and from illicit trafficking; the role of culture in sustainable development; and the identification of Culture as a Mediterranean Common Good, to be promoted and safeguarded through efforts a of all European and Mediterranean Countries.

The summit has been inaugurated by Dario Franceschini (Italian Minister of Culture), Luigi di Maio (Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs), and Cecilia Alemani (2022 Venice Art Biennale curator) and has put forth the creation of new programs of the European Union dedicated to supporting culture in the Mediterranean, based on the strategic objectives of the New European Agenda for Culture. Among other issues, the culture ministers have also suggested a ‘Med capital of culture’, a proposal in which every year a city of the Mediterranean, Middle East, Africa, Europe or the Balkans will become the capital of Mediterranean culture.

PAM President, Hon.  Migliore, in his speech spoke on how to identify culture as a shared asset, and addressed the issue of art looting and trafficking, how it has become increasingly sophisticated, especially in territories with ongoing conflicts. He mentioned the Ukraine war, where, as reported by UNESCO, heritage and cultural sites are regularly targeted and destroyed by the Russian forces and where the Ukrainian national cultural identity is in danger of being erased on purpose by violence and war crimes.

Pres. Migliore recalled that PAM will continue its contribution in the fight against international trafficking of artworks. In this regard, PAM will hold in Naples, on 20-21 June, a high-level conference on the revision of the Palermo Convention, against transnational organized crime, where illicit trafficking of cultural artifacts will be addressed.//