ROME- Professor Mamoun Abdul Karim, Director-General of the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums yesterday in Rome was awarded the "Cultural Heritage Rescue" Prize for his efforts aiming at protecting the cultural heritage in Syria.
The award, the Cultural Heritage Rescue Prize, was established by Francesco Rutelli, the Italian former Culture Minister and President of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin to reward the courage and determination of those fighting to preserve culture as universal heritage. The organizers decided to give the inaugural award to a person or organization that contributed to protecting the archeological and heritage sites targeted by armed terrorist groups in Syria.
Dr. Mahmoud Hammoud, Director of Damascus Countryside Antiquities told SANA cultural bulletin that granting this prize by the European Authorities and the European Union is evident recognition of the efforts being exerted by the Syrian authorities to protect the country's antiquities and ancient heritage sites, which are classified as universal.
"This indicates the Syrian culture's strength and ability to win international recognition and to be influential at the western circles which realize and appreciate the great value of the international Syrian heritage despite their governments' anti-Syria policies and which have seen the "dire situation" of the archeological sites in the areas where armed terrorist groups have heavy presence ," Hammoud said.
The prize was judged by a nine-member international jury, including Bonnie Burnham, President of the World Monuments Fund, and Catherine Anne Robert-Hauglustaine, Director-General of the International Council of Museums.