The German version of the ICOM Emergency Red List of Iraqi Cultural Objects at Risk (2015 update) is presented in Berlin, Germany, on 14 January, 2016.
In the presence of Monika Grütters, German State Minister and Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media, and Michael Reiffenstuel, Foreign Cultural Policy Commissioner at the German Foreign Office, ICOM presented the German version of the ICOM Emergency Red List for Iraqi Cultural Objects at Risk (2015 update) at the Archaeology Centre of the State Museums of Berlin, in the German capital. The Vorderasiatisches Museum of the Pergamonmuseum greatly contributed to the scientific elaboration of the Iraqi Red List, of which the German translation was funded by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. During the event a cuneiform tablet from Iraq was officially restituted to the Ambassador of Iraq.
“The safeguarding and preservation of heritage is one of our most important common objectives. The illegal trade of cultural goods destroys its historical context. Therefore, we must raise awareness of our shared responsibility to protect, and ICOM Red Lists contribute to that,” emphasised the President of ICOM, Hans-Martin Hinz.
This Red List was first presented in English, French and Arabic in June 2015 in Paris, France, with the support of the US Department of State, given the devastating situation for cultural heritage in the war-ravaged region where illicit excavations and lootings present a constant threat.
The Emergency Red List of Iraqi Cultural Objects at Risk highlights the types of objects which, in demand on the art and antiquities market and protected by legislation, are vulnerable to theft or looting. This practical tool has already proven successful over the years, enabling law enforcement agencies to seize thousands of objects.
Several of ICOM’s Red Lists already exist in German translation, including the Syrian Emergency Red List . ICOM recently launched the Emergency Red List of Libyan Cultural Objects at Risk in English, French and Arabic, and it will be soon made available in German. The ICOM Red List dedicated to West Africa, which is under preparation, will also be translated into German. These lists are expected to enhance awareness-raising and facilitate the work of law enforcement agencies in German-speaking countries. Their importance can be seen in the amendment of the German law on the protection of cultural property, which calls on all concerned parties to practice due diligence related to categories of objects included in the ICOM Red Lists.