Francois Hollande

France pledges $30 million for wartime heritage protection

France committed $30 million toward protecting cultural heritage sites during wartime on Saturday, a first step in the creation of an international fund aimed at preventing destruction like that carried out by Islamic State militants.

French President Francois Hollande announced the contribution during a conference jointly organized by France and the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi. Backers of the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage conference hope to attract an initial $100 million for the fund.

In coordination with UNESCO, it aims to prevent or stop destruction of historical sites, fight trafficking of stolen artifacts and pay for the restoration of sites damaged...