UK creates £30m fund to fight cultural destruction

The UK government has committed £30m to a new Cultural Protection Fund to help preserve antiquities and heritage in global conflict zones. Available from April until 2020, the funding will come from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and was announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review in November.

The money includes the £3m Iraqi Emergency Heritage Management Project, announced in October. The Iraqi initiative, run by the British Museum in London, will prepare for the day when Isil extremists lose control of sites in the north of the country.

This month, five Iraqi archaeologists are due to be selected for training in Iraq before coming to London to complete their training at the British Museum. In total, 50 Iraqis will be trained over a five-year period.