JEDDAH: The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) has launched an initiative to register 100 tangible and intangible heritage cultural monuments of OIC member states on the Islamic World Heritage List.
According to the Union of News Agencies in OIC member states (UNA), ISESCO called on member states to nominate sites to be registered to pave the way for their preservation and refer them to decision-making centers such as the World Heritage Committee.
The initiative was launched as many historical buildings and landmarks in Islamic countries have been damaged due to wars and conflicts, in addition to the theft, smuggling or illicit trade of masterpieces.
ISESCO has clarified that cultural heritage covers all antiquities, including architectural works, sculpture and photography as well as landmarks with an exceptional value to civilization and sites that are the result of the work of humans or joint work of humans and nature, including archaeological sites distinguished by an exceptional value to civilization.
ISESCO urged member states to write down the names of cultural monuments, the name of the country and region where monuments are and their location, along with official topographic maps recently published and updated to determine the current state of the monument.
ISESCO has called on member states to include in the candidacy file a list of the most adequate legislative and regulatory procedures for the protection of the monument and provide suggestions on the main indicators to measure and assess the state of the cultural or natural moment, along with the factors that affect it and the measures taken to maintain it.
ISESCO is currently working on activating the Islamic Heritage Committee that was established following the resolution of the fifth Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers in the Libyan capital of Tripoli in November 2007, to enlarge its powers and provide it with new working methods to carry out its functions more effectively.
The directives of ISESCO Director General Dr. Salem Al-Malek included promoting the institutional nature of the committee, activating its roles, especially those related to registering more archaeological sites in member states and intangible elements on the Islamic heritage list, increasing efficiency of its related frameworks and suggesting the best means to activate the content and directions of ISESCO’s reference documents in the field.
The committee recently held its eighth meeting at ISESCO’s headquarters in Rabat, with the participation of member states: Kuwait, Mauritania, Indonesia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, in addition to a representative from the Scientific Commission from Morocco.
Participating experts adopted the report of the ISESCO Archaeology Experts Committee, in charge of preparing technical reports on Israeli aggression against Al-Aqsa Mosque and the inscription files of member states’ heritage sites on the Islamic Heritage List.