Malta sponsors conservation meeting in Ramallah
A workshop for the main people involved in the conservation and management of historic cities in Palestine met in Ramallah at a meeting sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta. This meeting was the concluding meeting for the preparation of the "Palestinian Charter - Charter on the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in Palestine".
The meeting was addressed by Dr Hamdan Taha, Deputy Minister for Tourism and Culture, and Dr Mark Pace, the Representative of Malta to the Palestinian Authority. The two-day meeting, with a video link with Gaza for participants who could not attend, was the last in a series of four meetings to finalise this document, which will be the basis for the protection and conservation of cultural heritage in the Palestinian territories.
The Palestinians were joined by two international experts, one of whom was Dr Raymond Bondin, Malta’s Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO. Dr Bondin was invited to attend both as an expert on the subject matter but also as the technical person on behalf of Malta for this project, having been the person who initialised it.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta sponsored the project after a memorandum of understanding was signed by Dr Tonio Borg and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of the Palestinian National Authority Khouloud Daibes. This was followed by another technical memorandum of understand signed by Dr Hamdan Taha, Dr Raymond Bondin on behalf of Malta, and Bruno Pisani on behalf of ICCROM. ICCROM, an organisation founded by UNESCO in Rome, was the organisation responsible for the technical preparation for the project. The project was also sponsored by UNDP through the Millennium Development Goal project.
The Palestinian officers and participants thanked Malta for sponsoring this project, which is considered fundamental for them as part of their capacity building and institutional reorganisation. Palestine is at the moment also preparing a law for the protection of cultural heritage.