Prtection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict

The last History and Heritage research seminar for this academic year will take place on Wednesday 10th May. 

Professor Peter Stone (Newcastle University) will join us to talk about “The protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict”.

That cultural property is damaged and destroyed during conflict is usually accepted as a given. However, for over 2,000 years military theorists have suggested that allowing the cultural property of your enemy to be damage (or worse damaging it yourself) is poor military practice. Military forces began to take the issue seriously in the late 19th century and the protection of cultural property was seen as a serious responsibility by the Allied, and some parts of Axis, forces during the Second World War. At the end of that conflict the international community came together to produce the 1954 ‘Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict’ and it’s First Protocol.

Sadly, by the end of the 20th century little of this responsibility was acknowledged by the military, or by heritage professionals, and over the last 30 years cultural property has become a specific target in many conflicts. This presentation will discuss briefly the history of cultural property protection and then outline some of the activity since 2003 focussing on the work of the Blue Shield (the so-called “cultural equivalent” of the Red Cross) and why, if we are proactive, cultural property perhaps need not simply be an unwitting casualty of conflict.

The seminar is from 4.30pm to 6.00pm in the MHT building.

 

Story credit: Dr Antonella Liuzzo Scorpo

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