Today, Mrs. Kader attended the inaugural conference of the exhibition "The Citadel. Fascination of the ancient Erbil, the heart of Kurdistan in Iraq ", organized with the contribution of the High Commission for the Revitalisation of the Erbil Citadel, part of the Italian Archaeological Mission of the Italian Institute in Iraqi Kurdistan, headed by Massimo Bray.
The Inaugural Conference, to which Mrs. Kader was invited to intervene, was also attended by the General Director of Political and Security Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Luca Giansanti, the Italian Ambassador in Iraq, Ambassador Saywan Barzani, the head of the Iraq Task Force of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Min. Pl. Alessandro Gaudiano, Director of HCECR, Arch. Dara Talaat Mohammed Ali al-Yaqoobi, Dr. Luca Colliva and Dr. Gianfilippo Terribili, from La Sapienza, University of Rome.
President. Bray thanked all dignitaries and friends who attended this important conference on the Citadel of Erbil, which has millenary history and is a meeting place for different cultures that have always lived in mutual respect. It was recently included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, and also proclaimed Arab Tourism Capital for 2014.
Ambassador Barzani went on to thank all those involved in the implementation of this initiative, stressing the importance of Erbil and the citadel and the commitment that each of us put in the protection and revitalization of the site, especially after the latest events.
Ambassador Giansanti said the Foreign Ministry, in its various directions, is particularly attentive to the Kurdistan Region from various points of view. Firstly, Italy has stabilized its presence in the region with the progressive strengthening of the Italian Consulate in Erbil and important political, economic and cultural relations. After the attack of the Isis, the Kurdistan Region with its peshmergas have been an example of courage, they are sheltering nearly two million refugees fleeing from the violence perpetrated by the terrorists. The regional authorities in Kurdistan have set a priceless example of civilization in the defense of peace and development of the country. The visit of the President Renzi, DeputyMinister Pistelli and other parliamentary authorities emphasize the close friendship and cooperation. Italy, through the Development Cooperation, is paying particular attention to both the humanitarian side but also to the protection of the archaeological heritage and the battle against the illegal market.
Mrs. Kader, who showed gratitude to all the institutions involved and the authorities present, stressed the uniqueness of the Citadel from historical, archaeological, cultural and social point of views. The exhibition was both an opportunity to celebrate the importance of the recently-received recognition by UNESCO and to present to you all the activities carried out by the Italian Development Cooperation in collaboration with HCECR and the Kurdish institutions responsible for safeguarding the cultural heritage of the area. It was also a time to reflect on what is happening in the region and on what each of us can do to contribute to the protection of the beautiful mosaic of peace of Kurdistan. Mrs. Kader thanked the Italian Government and the Holy See for the solidarity shown right from the from the beginning of the crisis, the humanitarian and military support.
Minister Gaudiano, after greeting all dignitaries, said that the heritage and the cultural industry are very powerful development factors for a country that is able to convey important values such as civil cohabitation, religious integration or mutual respect. The Italian Cooperation has provided its excellence to the training of Iraqis in the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage. It was also responsible for the recovery and enumeration of the stolen archeological goods. It is working on the development of many other projects carried out in collaboration with major Italian universities such as Florence University and La Sapienza University in Rome. These project will hopefully help restore peace and stability in the area and give a message of hope to the people who live there.
The Director of HCECR, Arch. Dara Talaat Mohammed Ali al-Yaqoobi has expressed his delight for being present at the opening ceremony of the exhibition on the Citadel, the day after the formalization with the KRG Prime Minister of the inclusion of Arbil on the list of World Heritage Sites. A long path that required different requisites, but which led to the well-deserved success. Cooperation between Italy and Kurdistan is fundamental in this framework, and Italian know-how is of unique value for local operators. The goal of this project is the revitalization of the Citadel and its return to life, as well as its protection and development, a concept never more appropriate in this time.
Dr. Terribili concluded the inaugural conference with a detailed description of the exhibition, made of old photographs that showed the unique architecture of the town and scenes of life that manifested the civilization which has flourished in this country.