Monday, September 11, 2006

UNESCO is sending representatives to Lebanon to check on the state of cultural heritage sites there:
UNESCO sends experts to carry out technical assessment of the effects of the war on Lebanon’s cultural heritage
Friday, September 8, 2006

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today announced that the Organization will send a mission of experts, from September 10 to 16, to assess the potential damage caused to cultural sites in the recent conflict in Lebanon.

The mission will, among other things, visit UNESCO's World Heritage sites of Tyre, Baalbek and Byblos. Tyre and Baalbek, first built by the Phoenicians grew over the centuries and retain, to this day, some of the finest examples of Imperial Roman architecture at its zenith. The experts will analyze the structural soundness of the monuments on these sites and their state of conservation.

Byblos, north of Beirut, bears testimony to the earliest stages of the Phoenician civilization and early urban organization in the Mediterranean world. It has been affected by the oil spill caused by a leak from a coastal power plant bombarded in July. The experts will assess the potential damage of the oil spill to the ancient Port.

The experts are also expected to visit cultural heritage sites in the south of Lebanon that are not inscribed on the World Heritage List, as has been requested by the Lebanese authorities.

Mr. Matsuura also says that the current information is that there was not significant damage of these sites, but they still want to have a look, and he expresses willingness to do the same in Israel.

(Via Chuck Jones on the Iraqcrisis list.)

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