#Unite4Heritage to organize a cultural rally at Giza Pyramids Thursday
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova with Egyptian children wearing t-shirts with the campaign's logo
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CAIRO: UNESCO’s regional bureau in Egypt will organize a cultural rally at Giza Pyramids Thursday as a part of the organization’s campaign to combat cultural heritage racketeering.

The event, “#unite4heritag,” has a  social media campaign launched by the UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

Director of UNESCO Regional Bureau in Egypt Ghaith Fariz, Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and President of the Egyptian National Commission for UNESCO Ashraf al Sheehy along with renowned Egyptian actress Laila Eloui, the #Unite4Heritage envoy, will be present during the event.

It will feature cultural activities including a Tanoura (whirling dervish,) launching hot air balloons, gathering around the Great Pyramid at Giza along with a press conference.

“The plunder of cultural heritage must be condemned as a war crime,” Bokova said in her May 14 inaugural speech at an international conference in Cairo to combat the sale of antiquities by extremist groups in the Middle East.

During the past few years, Egypt has taken legal actions to restore dozens of artifacts smuggled amid the rising illicit digging activities carried out in several Egyptian archaeological sites following the 2011 uprising.

It is estimated that around $3 billion in Egyptian antiquities have been looted since the outbreak of the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and the consequent security lapse across Egypt, according to the International Coalition to Protect Egyptian Antiquities, a U.S.-based initiative partnered with Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry.

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