Director-General in Sofia to participate in a Conference on Fighting the Looting of Syria’s Cultural Heritage

From 16 to 17 September, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, will be in Sofia, Bulgaria, to take part in a conference entitled “Fighting the looting of Syria’s cultural heritage” that aims at exploring the joint efforts from the global community that are essential for protecting cultural heritage and curbing the looting and illicit trafficking of antiquities.

The Director-General will participate in the opening of the conference alongside Mrs. Roumiana Bachvarova, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Mr. Vezhdi Rashidov, Bulgarian Minister of Culture, H.E. Guro Katharina H. Vikør, Ambassador of Norway to Bulgaria, H.E. Stavros Avgoustides, Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to Bulgaria, and Mr. Carsten Paludan-Müller, Director-General of the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU).

The conference is organized by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sofia and the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research under the patronage of UNESCO and in partnership with the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus and the non-governmental organization “Walk of Truth” (the Netherlands).

While in Sofia, the Director-General will designate Mr Teodosii Spassov as UNESCO Artist for Peace (2015-2017) in recognition of his talent, his innovation in creating a unique music style and his virtuoso performance, his commitment to raise public awareness about music as a force to enhance dialogue among people, cultures and communities, as well as his profound commitment to the ideals and aims of the Organization.

Mr Theodosii Spassov is a famous Bulgarian jazz musician who plays kaval -- an eight-hole wooden "shepherd" flute, which is one of the oldest Instruments in Europe. Kaval is rich in tone and technical possibilities.  

In his capacity as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, Mr Spassov will be involved with our Organization’s work aiming to promote the creative cultural expression as a tool for dialogue and development. Mr Spassov will be also involved with the International Jazz Day celebration.