2019/12/05 at 11:39 مساءً

Conference on Hebron ends in Paris with a recommendation to inscribe the city on the WHL

World Institute in Paris ended on 26 November. The  Conference was convened by Hebron Municipality and its two key partners  in the Project to Support the Inscription of Hebron on the World  Heritage List, i.e. Arcueil and Belfort municipalities (France).

World Institute in Paris ended on 26 November. The Conference was  convened by Hebron Municipality and its two key partners in the Project  to Support the Inscription of Hebron on the World Heritage List, i.e.  Arcueil and Belfort municipalities (France).

At the end of the  Conference, Hebron Mayor Khaled Osaily said he hoped to see the dream of  inscribing Hebron on the List come true in 2012 now that Hebron’s  technical file was completed and submitted to the Palestinian Ministry  of Tourism and Archeology. International experts have confirmed that  Hebron’s nomination file is now ready and have underlined the merit of  Hebron’s heritage and historical sites which deserve to be inscribed on  UNESCO’s WHL. Osaily confirmed that Hebron and its French partners have  agreed to continue the International Campaign which started three years  ago in support of Hebron’s bid. “The Campaign shall continue on its  website as well as through various projects, international conferences  and contacts with political, cultural, technical, societal and media  leaders in Europe and throughout the world to mobilize additional  support and to lobby UNESCO”, he added.

Twelve papers were  presented at the Conference by prominent world heritage experts,  including Dr. Daniele Pini, a well-known UNESCO and ICOMOS expert  (Italy) who helped in the preparation of several other nomination files,  Dr. Howaida al-Harithy (Saudi Arabia), Chair of the Department of  Architecture and Design at the American University of Beirut who is a  key expert in the field of heritage safeguarding especially in the  Middle East, and Dr. Samir Abdulac (France), Vice-president of ICOMOS  France who enjoys a large experience in the preparation of WHL  nomination files and in the protection of cultural heritage throughout  the world. The papers tackled issues ranging from Hebron’s history,  mechanisms to safeguard cultural heritage and inscription on the WHL to  case studies concerning similar cities and means to enforce systems for  the protection and management of cultural heritage in Hebron.

Two  presentations by Mr. Yves Roujon and Mr. Luc Vilan from the National  School of Architecture of Versailles (France) -who earlier this year  spent two months in Hebron’s Old City preparing a field study on Hebron  in coordination with its Municipality- provided historical insight about  Hebron and underlined the uniqueness of the city’s features and  history.

In his presentation, Dr. Pini said that Hebron’s value  exceeds that of many cities inscribed on the WHL. Hebron must be  inscribed on the List, he said, in order to provide swift protection of  its cultural and historical heritage. He supported his presentation with  plans, drawings, diagrams as well as old and new pictures of the city.

Several  prominent Palestinian experts also took part in the Conference  including Dr. Nathmi al Ju’beh, Director of the Department of History  and Archaeology at Birzeit University, Dr. Nou’man Amre from Al Quds  Open University, Dr. Ghassan al-Dweik, Head of Architecture Department  at the Palestinian Polytechnic University, Dr. Khaldun Bshara, Chairman  of RIWAQ-Center for Architectural Conservation, Mr Alaa Shahin, Engineer  at Hebron Municipality and Head of the Hebron inscription project and  Mr Emad Hamdan, General Director of Hebron Rehabilitation Committee.  Their presentations covered historical sites in Palestine in general and  in Hebron in particular with a particular focus on mechanisms to  safeguard and manage cultural heritage, plans to develop cultural  heritage, golden eras witnessed by Hebron and a detailed presentation of  the city’s sites and archeology which continue to enrich the city’s  heritage.

The Conference came up with a number of  recommendations, including confirming the worthiness of Hebron’s Old  City and Al Ibrahimi Mosque’s of inscription on the WHL and the  importance of eliminating threats posed by occupation against Hebron’s  cultural and historic values.

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