The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM), supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), stages its first display of a photo exhibition on ‘Syria, Yemen, Iraq: The Risk of Forever Being Lost’. The exhibition will be on display for three months at the Open Space Gallery, IAMM from 8th December 2017 to 30th March 2017. The opening event of the exhibition will be held on 8th December 2017 at 2.30pm – 5.00pm.

‘Syria, Yemen, Iraq: The Risk of Forever Being Lost’ shares with the audience the enormity of the ongoing crisis and ponders upon what we have lost. It stunningly illustrates the degree of destruction resulted from the armed conflicts taking place in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Within its four main sections; Religious Edifices, Commercial Structures, Social Dwellings and Historical Monuments, the exhibition attempts to record life pre- and post- destruction and recollect the memories of our shared heritage.

Due to the civil war and armed conflict in the Middle East and the Levant, the world has lost many cultural heritage sites and properties. This has motivated IAMM to document the world’s lost

heritage on top of spreading awareness against the devastating effects of war. The IAMM exhibition team pulled together more than 50 coloured photos from a variety of sources; established photojournalists, freelance photographers, online databases and public domains. While these photos show the damages caused to the cultural heritage of its respective country, the exhibition elucidate the value and historical importance of the sites. Armed conflicts within and between nations have resulted in devastating reports of deaths, the increase of asylum seekers, as well as the demolishment of cultural heritage and identity. Rapid actions taken over this chastening grief have resulted in humanitarian organizations and cultural heritage societies’ effort to help archive and curb the spread of illicit trade in antiquities as well as tampering with world heritage.

IAMM received continuous support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) during the planning stage of this exhibition. ICRC contributed quite a number of photographs from its public domain portal. Besides that, ICRC shares with visitors of this exhibition an important piece of information about the legal protection of cultural properties through their panel entitled ‘Attacks On Cultural Property Are Attacks On Humanity’.

At the opening event, the ICRC’s Head of Regional Delegation, Ms. Isabelle Barras will be delivering her opening remarks and this will be followed by a talk entitled Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflicts: What Can We Do?by the Regional Legal Adviser of ICRC, Ms. Margherita D’Ascanio. Prior to joining the ICRC in 2014, Ms. Margherita worked for several law firms and NGOs, as well as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. In 2016, she was a Teaching Assistant at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She holds an LL.M from the same institution and is a PhD candidate at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva.

In conjunction with the exhibition, IAMM’s Education Department has also planned various programs to appreciate the lost cultural heritage, among them; “Shadows of the Lost” Freehand Sketching with Mrs. Rekha Verma, the Project Manager of the exhibition, thematic weekend workshops and inspiring storytelling sessions. For further information on the educational activities, please visit our website at www.iamm.org.my/education. You can also write us an email at education@iamm.org.my, or call 603-2092 7031/7032/7033/7034/7038 and follow our social media pages for regular updates.

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