UAE, France working together to do justice to world cultural heritage: French official

PARIS, -- His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is a worldly-wise leader with an insightful vision who is building on the cultural legacy left by the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as the UAE and France are working together to "do justice to the world cultural heritage," a prominent French cultural figure and former official said on Friday.

"Abu Dhabi is an intellectual capital of the world," said Jack Lang, President of Paris-based Arab World Institute and personal representative of French President Francois Hollande, while speaking about a conference on safeguarding endangered cultural heritage, to be held in December this year in Abu Dhabi.

He described H.H. Sheikh Mohammed as a "strong, wise statesman" who continues the legacy of late Sheikh Zayed.

Lang made the remarks in a statement to Emirates News Agency, WAM, on the sidelines of a meeting with the media on the "Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage" conference, an initiative of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and President Hollande.

Lang confirmed the participation of the French President in the conference, to be held on 2nd and 3rd December, under the patronage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.

"The UAE and France are co-operating to do justice to endangered world cultural heritage and help UNESCO in protecting cultural assets. We are co-operating with our friends in the UAE to conserve the memories of people, as well as to ensure that the conference will succeed in coming up with bold resolutions to combat illicit trade in antiquities and facilitate the restoration and protection of endangered assets in war zone," Lang, a former French minister of culture, added.

The conference will be attended by a number of leaders, international experts and representatives of International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) and other organisations.

"Participating countries should present different views to address the protection of endangered cultural heritage in war zones through tightened security measures," Lang noted.

"Whatever decisions are made at the conference will not replace the national laws in the concerned states. Rather, they will complement these laws for further caution and heightened measures. The UAE and France will present the decisions to the United Nations Security Council to ensure an emergency military intervention can be conducted, if necessary, and based on the assessments by UNESCO, to protect endangered archaeological sites in conflict zones," he added.

Source: Emirates News Agency