On Monday, David Burrowes, MP for Enfield Southgate, questioned the Government on the protection of cultural heritage in the battle-ravaged Mosul.
Paying tribute to the Government’s recent commitment to protect cultural property in times of conflict, Mr Burrowes asked the Secretary of State for Defence “What will the armed forces do to limit further damage to the cultural heritage of Mosul?”
The Secretary of State responded by announcing the creation of a new cultural property protection unit, tasked with providing advice, training and support to operational planning processes as well investigating, recording and reporting cultural property issues from any area of operations. Dubbed the ‘Monuments Men’, they follow in the footsteps of a remarkable and celebrated unit in the Second World War, dramatized in a recent George Clooney film.
Mr Burrowes welcomed the Government’s efforts to protect vital sites of major cultural significance, labelling their treatment at the hands of Daesh as “appalling acts of desecration and pillaging”. David has been selected to sit on the Bill Committee for the Cultural Heritage Bill.
Addressing the widespread theft of cultural property in Mosul and surrounding areas, Mr Burrowes said “I am concerned, as doubtless we all are, about human dignity. It is important to see the appropriate link between the trafficking of human beings and the trafficking of cultural property. There is the same disregard for people, for their faith, for their community and for their identity”