Plácido Domingo: destruction of Cultural Heritage is a Human Rights Issue

Maestro Plácido Domingo, as President of Europa Nostra and Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO, contributed via a video message to the event Time To End Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage: A Human Rights Call to Action held on 27 October at the UN Headquarters. The discussion centred upon the report presented by the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Ms Karima Bennoune.

Plácido Domingo applauded this report that constitutes a vigorous human rights call to action to end intentional destruction of cultural heritage. He also saluted all heritage heroes and defenders taking part in the critical discussion.

In his passionate message he urged the world leaders and citizens alike to work stronger and closer together. He stressed that “It is our human right to protect and preserve cultural heritage, to access it and enjoy it; and to transmit it to our children and grandchildren. Today these rights cannot be taken for granted and require our collective, vigorous defence. This is a duty for humankind as a whole and for each and everybody of us! Referring to intentional destruction of cultural heritage, the President of Europa Nostra stressed:

“when cultural heritage is attacked, damaged or destroyed anywhere in the world, it is our heritage – yours and mine – that is attacked, damaged and destroyed.”

“These destructions undermine our human right to know our own history and the histories of our neighbours. These destructions seek to erase the record of human genius and human creation and by doing so, to erase our collective memory as human beings. These deplorable acts therefore must be firmly condemned and eventually stopped, as advocated in the Report of the UN Special envoy for Cultural Rights.”

Ms Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, expressed every appreciation for Europa Nostra’s support to her report and her appeal to the international community. She thanked especially Europa Nostra President, Plácido Domingo, for his forceful and inspiring message which will be posted on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights based in Geneva, and will be widely shared. In this way, Plácido Domingo’s message will become a most welcome tool for further campaigning for the safeguarding of cultural heritage as part of the UN action for protection of human rights with special emphasis on the relevance of cultural rights.

Watch the Video Message