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As the London-based chair of the museum’s taskforce, Omar al-Qattan explains, Palestinians’ mass expulsion and exile since 1948 has presented the greatest challenge to conserving and exhibiting their heritage. “Their built up environment, as well as their cultural patrimony, was either destroyed or confiscated by the new state,” he says. “One must never underestimate the profound and decimating effect that forced exile and war have on a people – its memory, its customs, its oral history, its music and dance, its artisanal skill base. These are more vital than museum pieces and their destruction may quite fairly be termed as cultural genocide.”