ALIPH: Protecting heritage to build peace
In response to the massive destruction of cultural heritage in conflict areas, the world has decided to come together.
In 2017, at the initiative of France and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), very quickly joined by other States and private partners, the International alliance for the protection of heritage in conflict areas (ALIPH), whose acronym refers to the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, was created to protect sites, museums, monuments and collections threatened by conflicts.
The ALIPH way
• A response to barbarism
• An alliance of the willing
• A private foundation with the status of an international organization
• A fund, and a source of scientific expertise
• Local relevance: responding to needs on the ground and working with local partners
• Support ranging from immediate emergency relief to large-scale rehabilitation projects
ALIPH is now the only global fund exclusively dedicated to the protection of heritage in conflict areas. According to its Bylaws, the purpose of the Foundation is, "to attract, leverage, manage and invest resources for the implementation of preventive and emergency protection programs for cultural property in danger of destruction, damage or looting on account of armed conflict, and to contribute to the rehabilitation of such property.” The cultural property falling within the scope of the Foundation's activities is defined by Article 1 of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict signed at The Hague on May 14, 1954.
ALIPH is dedicated to supporting the implementation of concrete projects. Thus, last June, ALIPH decided to provide financial support for five projects: the rehabilitation of the Mosul Museum and the Mar Behnam Monastery (Iraq), the restoration of the Tomb of Askia in Gao (Mali), a training program on earthen architecture in Abu Dhabi and Oman, and an exhibition raising awareness on endangered heritage, "Millennium Cities," at the Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris). These choices were guided by the quality of the projects and the desire to protect cultural heritage in its diversity.
ALIPH aims to be able to cover the diversity of needs on the ground. In January 2019, ALIPH will launch a call for projects to support initiatives of all sizes, including multiyear initiatives - such as the next steps of the Mosul Museum rehabilitation project - to prevent, protect, rehabilitate or restore cultural heritage. In addition, ALIPH has already put in place a procedure to quickly support emergency measures, such as those aimed at averting an imminent risk of damage to the integrity of a collection or the collapse of a monument.
ALIPH's objective is to work closely with local authorities and partners, both upstream and downstream.
ALIPH is a nonprofit foundation, with a headquarters agreement with the Swiss Federal Council guaranteeing it the status of an international organization.
ALIPH is the expression of an "alliance" between several states and private partners. Its Foundation Board, chaired by Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan, American entrepreneur and philanthropist, and vice-chaired by HE Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and representative of the UAE, includes representatives of the initial donor countries (UAE, France, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Luxembourg and China) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, two private donors and two international experts, representatives of Switzerland, which provides assistance in kind, and UNESCO, the Chair of the Scientific Committee and the Executive Director.
Its Scientific Committee, composed of experts in cultural heritage and museums from different countries, is chaired by Mr. Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Louvre Museum.
Its Secretariat is based in Geneva. A startup-like management guarantees flexibility and reactivity.
ALIPH already has a significant budget ($77.5 million in pledges), to be increased through the development of partnerships with new states, international or regional organizations, and private donors, whether philanthropists, foundations or companies.