Tue, 31 Jan 2023

Ancient civilizations forum opens in Baghdad

05 Dec 2022, 02:05 GMT+10

BAGHDAD, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The sixth edition of the Ancient Civilizations Forum kicked off in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Sunday, as Iraq stressed the need for joint mechanisms to reduce the smuggling of cultural property.

"This forum is a diplomatic approach to promoting strategic partnerships between civilizations and cultures as well as sustainable coordination to support global efforts in facing humanitarian and cultural challenges," Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein addressed the opening ceremony.

Hussein stressed the need to find a joint mechanism to curb the smuggling of cultural property, to which countries around the world fall victim.

Acts of vandalism and illegal trade were practiced by the extremist Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq, he said, adding the acts "cannot erase history and civilizations that spanned thousands of years."

The Iraqi government has managed to return more than 18,000 artifacts dating back to different historical eras through cooperation with partners and friends of Iraq, according to the minister.

He expressed his hope that the forum will enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation among countries to coordinate the return of stolen artifacts, as well as to protect those historical properties from all acts of illegal trafficking.

Ten countries, namely Iraq, China, Egypt, Iran, Greece, Italy, Peru, Bolivia, Armenia, and Mexico, participated in the forum, with the attendance of Miguel Angel Moratinos, high representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

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