UAE launches e-registry for national antiquities

Abu Dhabi, 18th February, 2015 (WAM) — Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and Chairman of the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities (NCTA), on Wednesday launched the UAE’s national e-registry for antiquities, the first of its kind in the region.

”The registry is one of the most important civilisational projects in the UAE. It is very significant for the nation’s future and for safeguarding its cultural legacy. These antiquities prove that the UAE has a rich history since time immemorial and has been and still is a melting pot of the world’s civilisations and a model for humanity and peaceful co-existence,” the minister added.

The UAE, he maintained, was not a new place in geography and history. Rather it had a history and civilisation, serving as a crossroad of trade and work and a transit point for people from different ethnicities, religions , cultures and nationalities.

”Today, the UAE has become a bridge of communication from and to other countries of the world, an international hub for trade, business, tourism and education as well as a host to 200 nationalities,” he added.

Mohammed Khamis bin Hareb, Director of the NCTA, gave a presentation on the criteria for registering antiquities and said the project comes as part of efforts to implement directives of the federal e-government and is part of the NCTA’s strategy to safeguard the UAE’s civilisational legacy.

He said the registry aims to protect antiquities, provide reliable information to researchers, learners, tourists and executive authorities tasked with protecting national treasures, like axes which date back 120,000 years.

The registry, he explained, serves as a national data base that incorporates 3,100 pieces of diverse antiquities from all emirates and 30 basic information on each piece in terms of size, weight, measure, original material, place and date of discovery, discoverer of the artefact, its condition and image of the artefact.

He also expected to have 4,000 antiquities by the end of the current year and 10,000 in the years to come.

”Registration will continue until all antiquities are registered,” he said, noting that it has joined a group of leading Arab countries who have established an e-registry for antiquities.

He added that the registry is accessible to researchers, learners, members of the public and other interested entities.

The registry, he added, acts as a reference for federal authorities responsible for protection of antiquities and civilisational legacy, including customs authorities, Interpol and others.