"Cultural cleansing" by terrorists is a war crime: UNESCO chief

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Destruction at the World Heritage site of Palmyra in Syria. Photo: ©UNESCO/Francesco Bandarin (file) 26979

The destruction of cultural heritage by terrorists, described as "cultural cleansing" by the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is a war crime.

Irina Bokova made the remarks on Friday after members of the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on the protection of cultural heritage sites in armed conflict.

UNESCO, Interpol and other international organizations have been trying to prevent the sale of artefacts and antiquities by extremists in war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Duration: 3’33”


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