Statement by the Director-General on violations of cultural heritage in the Middle East

16 October 2015

The UNESCO Director-General expressed concern about escalating violence around and against cultural and religious heritage in the Middle East.

The Director-General condemned the arson committed against Joseph's Tomb, located in the site inscribed on the World Heritage Tentative List of Palestine, the Old City of Nablus and its surroundings.

“Cultural and religious heritage embodies values that transcend the lines of culture and faith. Nothing can justify their violation. Violence around and against these places of worship further exacerbates already high tensions. I ask everyone to ensure that cultural heritage, including religious, is preserved, accessible to all parties concerned and kept beyond conflict and violence. "