Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development will next month celebrate the 50th anniversary of the start of the UAE's excavation works and archaeological discoveries.

The ministry will host the second archaeology conference and the tenth scientific forum of the history and archeology society in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries next month.

The events will be held in the capital city.

More than 170 scholars from around the world will present 23 research papers at the conference to be held from March 1 to 3 at the Intercontinental Hotel.

Scholars will discuss issues related to tradition and heritage, Islamic, modern and contemporary history and reports on excavations.

The celebration programme will also include a press conference as well as a number of events and associated activities such as the opening of archaeological exhibitions in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

"[The ministry] is keen to ensure that this occasion is celebrated in cooperation with all concerned bodies in the emirates," said Bilal Al Budoor, executive director of Culture and Arts in the ministry, yesterday in a press conference held at the ministry.

"The ministry is keen to document all the heritage and archaeological findings and discoveries in the UAE since the first excavations in February 1956," he said.

Al Budoor stressed that the occasion is very important for the entire society as it sheds new light on the UAE's history.

"Archaeology is very important in the life of nations, and there is an urgent need to protect and preserve it as it represents the routes mankind has taken," he explained.

Protection new law

A federal archaeology law and authority is expected to be launched soon, Bilal Al Budoor, executive director of Culture and Arts at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, told Gulf News.

The law is ensure protection of all findings. In the past some have been sold on the black market and taken out of the country. "People used to dig in Al Door historical site in Umm Al Quwain ... and I assume lots of findings were lost because they were not protected," he said.