PARIS: UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and French President Francois Hollande co-chaired the Donors’ Conference, held in Paris to mark the establishment of the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH).
Sheikh Saif announced that the UAE would make a financial contribution of $15 million to ALIPH.
During the conference held at the Louvre Museum, all countries, foundations and private donors in attendance declared their support for the initiative and a total of more than $75 million was pledged to the fund.
Speaking in the Donors’ Conference, Sheikh Saif said: “On behalf of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, I am honoured to be present at this important and historic moment to gather the international community together to mark the establishment of the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas.”
He continued: “Since the Abu Dhabi conference, we have made huge strides towards the development of a robust strategy to ensure that the catastrophic destruction of priceless cultural artefacts are preserved for future generations. It is a great achievement to see that the strategies set out in the Abu Dhabi Declaration materialise as impactful and sustainable means to safeguard cultural resources. As momentum grows around the Foundation’s initiatives, we look forward to welcoming future public and private donors who are inspired to unite with us to protect heritage in all its diversity and richness.”
ALIPH is a foundation which will finance projects for the implementation of preventive, emergency protection, conservation and restoration programmes for cultural property endangered due to armed conflict.
Also in attendance were Unesco Director General Irina Bokova, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Jack Lang, President of Institut du Monde Arabe and Jean-Luc Martinez, CEO of the Louvre Museum as well as Prince Khaled Al Faisal Al Saoud, Governor of Makkah Region, and Sheikh Mohamed Abdullah Al Mubarak Al Sabah, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs of the State of Kuwait and many other representatives from the international cultural scene.
Additional pledges were made from France for $30 million, Saudi Arabia for $20 million, Kuwait for $5 million, Luxembourg for 3 million Euros, Morocco for $1.5 million and a private donation of $1 million came from Thomas Kaplan. Morocco also announced its will to join the network of safe havens.
In addition, Italy announced its commitment to continue the work of its task force to train police, curators and restorers and its determination in bringing the project of a resolution forward, with France, to the UN Security Council. Germany pledged expertise to mobilising the fund and Switzerland pledged its support in enabling ALIPH’s establishment in Switzerland as a humanitarian endeavor. China also unveiled that it will be the first Asian country to respond to the call of the Abu Dhabi Declaration and make the China National Museum a safe haven to temporarily host endangered material culture in conflict zones from across the world.