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International push aims to protect endangered heritage

Two monumental ancient statues of Buddha carved into the cliffs of Bamiyan in Afghanistan were pulverised by the Taliban in 2001Representatives from dozens of countries began meeting in Abu Dhabi on Friday to discuss the creation of a $100-million fund to protect and restore heritage sites threatened by extremism and conflict. The two-day conference reflects growing international alarm over the destruction of ancient artefacts by Islamic State group jihadists using sledgehammers, bulldozers and explosives. “To succeed, we need to work together… united for heritage,” UNESCO director Irina Bokova told participants.

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