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Conflict and Cultural Heritage Conference - 31/10/2015, Oxford (England)

The Conflict and Cultural Heritage Conference aims to raise public awareness and develop understanding of the issues surrounding the protecting of cultural heritage at risk from armed conflict. Focussing on the Middle East, the area currently undergoing the greatest destruction and where the heritage is most at risk, we aim to demonstrate the importance of the heritage, why its destruction matters, and what can be done. Topics to be explored will include the material heritage of the region from international and local perspectives, and the living heritage of communities with rich and longstanding traditions, before exploring why such destruction is happening, and the beliefs that underlie extremist practices. Focus will then move to an overview of what is being done already, and what more the international community can do.

This free conference is intended to provide information from a variety of cultures, perspectives, and organisations, including academics, archaeologists, the military, and the media, raising awareness of the multi-cultural nature of Middle Eastern heritage, and its global relevance in the past and today.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 31/10/2015

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: St. John's College Auditorium, University of Oxford (Oxford, England)


INFO: web -



The program has four sessions:

  • What is happening? The significance of sites at risk and the current situation

  • Why is ths happening? Understanding ISIL and other Islamic extremism

  • What is being done or should be done? Exploring archaeological and military heritage protection initiatives

  • Where do we go from here? Panel responding to the day’s discussions

Speakers for Session 1:

  • Dr Robert Bewley, Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa, Oxford University

  • Dr Ross Burns, author of the Monuments of Syria book andwebsite, and of History of Damascus (History of Aleppo is forthcoming)

  • Dr Lamia al-Gailani, UCL

  • Dr Sebastian Brock, Oriental Institute, Oxford University, and Mr Sébastien de Courtois, Groupe, Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités at l’École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris

Speakers for Session 2

  • Dr Alia Brahimi, Director at the strategic intelligence consultancy, Contest Global, and Visiting Research Fellow at the Changing Character of War Programme, Oxford University

  • Dr Rizwaan Sabir, Lecturer in Criminology, Liverpool John Moores University

  • Dr Noel Brehony, Chair of the Committee of the Council for British Research in the Levant, and FCO advisor

Speakers for Session 3

  • Professor Graham Philip, Middle Eastern archaeologist at Durham University, and member of Shirin

  • Mr Isber Sabrine, Chair of the NGO Heritage for Peace

  • Lt Col Tim Purick, staff officer at British Army HQ in the Strategic Foresight Unit

  • Mr Vernon Rapley, Head of Security and Visitor Services at the V&A

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