World Heritage in Conflict Zones
A number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites have been deliberately damaged, during conflict, to fuel hatred & block reconciliation. Our work in rehabilitating sites implies much more than architectural repairs -- it's about values, identities & belonging. We need to protect culture from attack. Protecting culture is protecting people, their way of life & providing them with essential resources to rebuild when war ends.
Centuries in the making, cherished for hundreds of years, unique heritage can vanish in hours. Protecting culture is NOT a luxury that is better left for another day. Protecting culture is also protecting people -- it is protecting their way of life, providing them with essential resources to rebuild communities and restore links when war ends.
We are committed to seeing all of the precious cultural heritage attacked in Timbuktu in the past two years completely rebuilt and restored, including this centuries-old shrine.
The religious divisions that led to the damage of this mosque in 2006 were overcome through its UNESCO-supported reconstruction, seen as a powerful symbol of Iraqi national reconciliation.
Most people know Bamiyan as the site where giant statutes of the Buddha were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. But it is the location of other important archaeological sites too, such as Shahr-i-Zohak (Red City), an impressive mass of ruins that was once the fortress protecting the entrance to Bamiyan in the 12th and 13th centuries. Now this site will be restored and conserved as part of a new project in Afghanistan sponsored by UNESCO and the Government of Italy.