Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict
The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflicts (Swiss version: Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict , French Convention pour la protection des biens culturels en cas de conflit armé , English Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict ) is a treaty under international law that was concluded in 1954 with the aim of protecting cultural property from destruction or damage as well as theft , looting and other forms of unlawful possession during a war or armed conflict . Cultural property is defined as “movable or immovable property that is of great importance to the cultural heritage of peoples”. These include, for example, paintings , sculptures , archaeological finds , books , manuscripts and archive materials as movable cultural assets . In addition to monuments , immovable cultural assets are primarily buildings such as museums , libraries , archives and salvage sites that serve for the exhibition, use, custody and protection of movable cultural assets. Monument centers, as places of a larger size, which have a considerable amount of cultural property according to the previous definition, are also considered to be worthy of protection.
The provisions of the 1954 Convention were supplemented and made more precise by two protocols concluded in 1954 and 1999. All three agreements are part of international humanitarian law , which in the form of further agreements mainly include regulations that define the permitted means and methods of warfare and aim to provide the greatest possible protection for those who are not involved in the fighting. In contrast to these parts of international humanitarian law, the agreements on the protection of cultural property were created under the aegis of the United Nations (UN); the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) is primarily responsible for disseminating and monitoring compliance . In addition to rules that are intended to ensure the protection and respect of cultural property immediately during an armed conflict, these agreements also provide security measures that are to be implemented in peacetime. As of June 2018, 132 states are party to the 1954 Hague Convention, and 109 and 77 states respectively have acceded to the 1954 and 1999 protocols. Blue Shield International , based in The Hague, is active in the field of international coordination with regard to military and civil structures for the protection of cultural property .
The guiding principles of the convention as well as the motivation for its conclusion, its dissemination and its respect are summarized in the preamble , which states, among other things,
"... that any damage to cultural property, regardless of which people it belongs to, means damage to the cultural heritage of all humanity, because every people makes its contribution to the culture of the world ..."
Legal historical development
The beginning with the Hague Land Warfare Regulations and the Roerich Pact
The first international treaty to contain provisions for the protection of cultural property during a war was the Hague Land Warfare Regulations, concluded in 1899 and re-adopted in a slightly modified version in 1907 . For the attacking party, Article 27 of this rule contained the commandment to spare historical monuments, educational institutions and institutions of religious, non-profit, artistic or scientific importance during sieges and bombings as far as possible. The attacked party should mark appropriate buildings. Article 56 also contained a generally worded prohibition on the seizure, destruction or damage of such facilities. However, the acceptance of the Hague Land Warfare Regulations was severely restricted during the First World War by the so-called all -participation clause . This stated that in the event of war or armed conflict, this agreement should only apply if all states involved in the conflict are parties to the agreement.
The Russian lawyer, painter and writer Nicholas Roerich , who witnessed the destruction of cultural assets in Russia during the First World War and the October Revolution , initiated a separate treaty at the beginning of the 1930s that was intended to protect cultural assets during armed conflicts . As early as 1904 he had submitted corresponding ideas to the Russian Architects' Association. Ten years later, just before the outbreak of the First World War, he had turned to the Russian Tsar Nicholas II with his idea . On his initiative, Georges Chklaver from the Institute for High International Studies at the University of Paris worked out a corresponding draft in 1929. This proposal was subsequently discussed by the International Office of the League of Nations and at private conferences in Bruges in 1931 and 1932 and in Washington, DC in 1933. The seventh international conference of American states, held in Buenos Aires in 1933 , recommended the adoption of the draft. The Board of Directors of the Pan-American Union then presented a treaty “on the protection of artistic and scientific institutions and historical monuments”, which was signed on April 15, 1935 in the White House of 21 states in North, Central and South America. Ten of the signatory states became contracting parties through subsequent ratification , the first being the United States on July 13, 1935 and the last being Colombia on February 20, 1937. The agreement, also known as the Roerich Pact after its initiator, came into force on August 26, 1935 Force.
The Roerich Pact comprised eight articles and contained several major innovations compared to the general provisions of Articles 27 and 56 of the Hague Land Warfare Regulations. On the one hand, the treaty established the status of neutrality for historical monuments, museums, scientific and artistic institutions as well as educational and cultural institutions. This legal status, comparable to the neutrality of medical personnel and comparable facilities during a war, resulted in the respect of these goods by all parties involved in a conflict and thus their protection. The contracting parties should submit lists of monuments and facilities for which they have claimed protection under the treaty to the Pan-American Union, which should distribute these lists to all contracting states.
In addition, a protective symbol for the identification of cultural goods was defined in this contract, which consisted of three red dots in a red circle on a white background. Nicholas Roerich, who based the design of the sign on early symbolism, described the importance of the three points as a symbolization of art , science and religion as the three most important cultural activities of mankind, with the circle as an element that these three aspects in the past , Present and future connected. The symbol was also referred to as the “banner of peace”, the movement based on the Roerich Pact under the name Pax Cultura in analogy to the Geneva Conventions as the “Red Cross of Culture”.
However, acceptance of the Roerich Pact was limited to the United States and the countries of Central and South America. Not a single country in Europe and Asia , the geopolitical focus of the Second World War , which began a few years later , signed or ratified the treaty. Even if it is still valid today in the relations between the contracting parties and the Organization of American States (OAS), succeeding the Pan-American Union, continues to act as depositary , the Roerich Pact remained without significant practical relevance. Of the parties to the Roerich Pact, only the United States has not yet acceded to the Hague Convention after Chile ratified the Convention and its two Additional Protocols in September 2008. For the USA, the Roerich Pact is still of importance as a contractual obligation in the field of cultural property protection. However, with the establishment of a protective symbol and the administration of lists of cultural property worthy of protection by a central international institution, this treaty introduced two important, more far-reaching principles in the area of cultural property protection in the event of armed conflicts.
The further development of the 1954 Hague Convention
Just four years after the Roerich Pact was signed, the government of the Netherlands submitted a draft for a new convention, which the International Museum Office of the League of Nations was also heavily involved in drafting. However, the beginning of the Second World War in the same year prevented any further steps to further develop and implement this proposal. After the end of the war, the Netherlands again submitted a proposal to UNESCO, which had been founded three years earlier, in 1948. In 1951, the General Conference of UNESCO decided to set up a committee of government experts to draw up a new convention. A year later, this committee submitted a draft to the General Conference, which it sent to national governments for further discussion. From April 21 to May 14, 1954, an international conference took place in The Hague with the participation of 56 states, which worked out a final version and adopted it as the “Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict”. About two years later, the agreement entered into force on August 7, 1956. After the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, it was the second important agreement in the field of international humanitarian law , in the creation and implementation of which the United Nations played a key role .
With the new convention, which with 40 articles in the main text and 21 articles in the implementing provisions went well beyond the Roerich Pact, a comprehensive and detailed definition of cultural property was formulated for the first time. The aspect of security measures in peacetime, to which the contracting parties are obliged by the Convention, was also new. The measures to be taken in the event of war to ensure respect for cultural property were formulated in detail. The concept of a label established with the Roerich Pact was retained. However, the convention introduced a new symbol instead of the protective symbol defined in the Roerich Pact. This is therefore only of relevance in the relations between parties to the Roerich Pact that have not yet acceded to the Hague Convention. Also new was the concept of special protection for selected salvage sites, monument centers and other immovable cultural assets, which should be granted special immunity if certain conditions are met and after entry in an “International Register for Cultural Property under Special Protection”. After an article with a minimum of requirements for non-international armed conflicts had already been included in the new versions of the Geneva Conventions concluded in 1949, the Hague Convention of 1954 also contained a comparable provision. This required all parties involved in such a conflict to at least comply with all provisions that aim to respect cultural property.
The conference also adopted a separate agreement in the form of a protocol to the convention. This contained requirements to prevent the export of cultural property by one contracting party from the occupied territory of another contracting party and regulated the return of illegally exported cultural property. Corresponding stipulations were initially provided for in the draft for the convention, but based on experience from the Second World War and the resistance of some delegations, they turned out to be too controversial. For the same reason, the specifications adopted in the form of the protocol were not as specific and far-reaching as the regulations contained in the original proposal.
The second protocol from 1999
The 1954 convention came into being immediately against the backdrop of the Second World War. When drafting the plan, the contract partners therefore assumed, among other things, that future wars would also be characterized by large-scale attacks against entire cities. Furthermore, the convention was based on the assumption that all parties involved in a conflict have a similar interest in the protection of cultural property. In the decades that followed, however, there were various changes in the conduct of war, the development of new weapon technologies and, above all, a significant increase in the number, severity and duration of internal conflicts. What turned out to be particularly serious was the fact that in some conflicts the damage and destruction of cultural property was not just a result of the fighting. Rather, there were targeted attacks on cultural property, especially in ethnic disputes, in order to wipe out the cultural heritage of the opposing side.
These experiences made it necessary to adapt and update the aspect of cultural property protection alongside other areas of international humanitarian law. The first additional protocol to the Geneva Conventions, signed in 1977, contained in Article 53 a confirmation of three important principles of the Hague Convention: the prohibition of attacks against historical monuments, artistic and religious institutions, the prohibition of the use of such objects for military purposes and the prohibition of reprisals against institutions of cultural importance. Beyond that, however, there had been no revision of the protection of cultural property in international humanitarian law since the conclusion of the convention in 1954. This took place only 45 years after the adoption of the 1954 Convention through the adoption of a second protocol at a diplomatic conference from March 15 to 26, 1999. The protocol came into force five years later. With 47 articles, it was more extensive than the 1954 Convention and in some areas was based on changes in international humanitarian law, which had resulted primarily from the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. In the original convention, the term “imperative military necessity”, which was only formulated in general terms, formed the basis for legitimate military activities directed against cultural property. This was replaced in the protocol by the requirement that cultural property may only be attacked if it has become a military target due to its use and if there is no alternative to an attack.
The system of special protection established with the 1954 Convention, however, has proven to be ineffective in practice due to excessively strict requirements. In addition to the requirements for the location of objects that should be placed under special protection, the necessary unanimous approval of such an application by all contracting parties can only rarely be achieved. Until 1978, only eight salvage sites in Austria , Germany and the Netherlands as well as the Vatican City as a monument center were included in the “International Register for Cultural Property under Special Protection”. At the end of March 2015, Mexico registered the prehistoric sites Calakmul , Chichén Itzá , Monte Albán , Palenque , Paquimé , El Tajín , Teotihuacán , Uxmal and Xochicalco for special protection status. Of the eight originally registered rescue locations, only four are currently under special protection, the Barbarastollen near Oberried in Germany and three locations in the Netherlands. Austria applied for the deletion of its salvage location from the special protection register in September 2000, just as the Netherlands had previously deleted three of six special protection entries in September 1994. The protocol of 1999 therefore introduced the status of "enhanced protection" with the corresponding requirements for implementation, the protective effect of which is comparable to the special protection of the 1954 Convention. Another major innovation of the protocol was the individual criminal liability for five, more precisely defined, serious offenses. The contracting states are obliged to criminalize these acts through appropriate national legislation. The protocol also extended the scope of protection of cultural property to non-international armed conflict.
Hague Agreement of May 14, 1954
The 1954 convention is divided into seven chapters. In Chapter I on general protective provisions, the term “cultural property” in the sense of the agreement is defined as movable or immovable property that is of great importance for the cultural heritage of peoples.
Immovable cultural assets include, for example, architectural, art and historical monuments, both ecclesiastical and secular, as well as groups of buildings of historical or artistic interest and archaeological sites. Movable cultural assets include, for example, works of art, manuscripts, books and other objects of artistic, historical or archaeological interest, as well as scientific collections and collections of reproductions of cultural assets. In addition, buildings that serve to preserve or display movable cultural property are also classified as cultural property. These include, for example, museums , libraries , archives and salvage locations .
A third category of their own is made up of monument centers as places that have a considerable amount of movable and immovable cultural assets in the sense of the previous description. In addition to complexes made up of several buildings, such as a collection of museums, it can also be historically significant city districts or, in exceptional cases, such as the Vatican City, which is registered as a monument center, entire locations.
The scope of protection is defined as securing and respecting cultural property (Article 2). All suitable measures in peacetime, which the contracting parties take to protect cultural property from the foreseeable consequences of an armed conflict (Article 3), apply as security. Respect for cultural property in the event of an armed conflict means renouncing the use of cultural property for military purposes as well as hostile acts directed against cultural property (Article 4). Exceptions to this obligation are only permitted in cases of “imperative military necessity”. Any form of illegal possession of cultural property is prohibited and must be prevented. Against cultural directed repression are not permitted. In the event of an occupation, the occupying power is obliged to support the authorities of the occupied country in securing cultural property (Article 5). The contracting parties are obliged, in peacetime, to convey respect for cultural property to the members of their armed forces through service regulations and instructions and, in addition, to set up offices or specialist staff to monitor the protection of cultural property (Article 7).
In Chapter II of the agreement, the contracting parties stipulate special protection for certain cultural assets. According to Article 8, this includes a limited number of salvage locations, monument centers and other very important immovable cultural assets. The prerequisite for the granting of special protection is that the objects in question are located at a sufficient distance from large industrial centers and possible military targets and are not used for military purposes themselves. The granting of special protection also requires an entry in the international register for cultural property under special protection . The exclusive guarding of cultural property is not assessed as a military use. Cultural property under special protection is considered inviolable (Article 9). A revocation of this status during an armed conflict is only possible under certain conditions, which for example include an “inevitable military necessity” (Article 11).
Chapter III contains regulations for the transport of cultural property. Transports for the relocation of cultural property can also be placed under special protection (Article 12). Cultural property during transport and the means of transport used for it may be searched and checked, but not confiscated or otherwise taken away (Article 14).
The following Chapter IV (Article 15) obliges the signatories to respect the personnel who protect the relevant cultural property. In the event of arrest, the staff must not be prevented from doing their work.
Chapter V contains provisions on the design and use of a symbol for cultural property. According to Article 16, a coat of arms - like shield in ultramarine blue and white pointing downwards is used for identification . In accordance with Article 17, this label must be used in triplicate for cultural property under special protection and in a single copy for any other cultural property to be protected, for the personnel responsible for protection and for corresponding IDs.
Chapter VI defines the scope of the agreement. In accordance with Article 18, it applies to every armed conflict between two or more contracting parties and in the event of the occupation of the territory of one of the contracting parties. In the case of non-international armed conflicts on the territory of one of the contracting parties, all parties to the conflict are obliged to at least comply with and apply the provisions of the Agreement on the Respect of Cultural Property.
Chapter VII contains the implementing provisions for the agreement. Among other things, it defines the role of protecting powers (Articles 21 and 22) and UNESCO (Article 23). In addition, Article 25 contains an obligation to disseminate the agreement in peacetime and during conflict, for example through military and civilian training. According to Article 28, the contracting parties are obliged to prosecute violations of the agreement either criminally or disciplinary. The final provisions in Articles 29 to 40 regulate, among other things, the signature, ratification, accession, entry into force, amendment and termination of the agreement. In Article 36, the signatories underline that the agreement applies in addition to the provisions of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, in particular the Hague Land Warfare Regulations, and the Roerich Pact of 1935, provided that the contractual parties are also bound by these agreements in their relationships with one another.
Hague Protocol of May 14, 1954
The protocol, which was created together with the Convention in 1954, regulates the protection of cultural property against export from the territory of a contracting party and the return of illegally exported cultural property. In accordance with the provisions of Section I, the export of cultural property by one Contracting Party from the occupied territory of another Contracting Party is prohibited and therefore prevented. Each contracting party is therefore obliged to take illegally exported cultural property into custody and to return it after the end of the hostilities.
Under no circumstances may cultural property be withheld for reparation for war damage. Section II regulates the return of cultural property that has been handed over to another contracting party in order to protect it against the dangers of an armed conflict. Section III contains the implementation and final provisions.
Second minutes of March 26, 1999
The aim of the adoption of the second protocol was to expand and clarify the provisions of the 1954 Convention and to revise them in areas the practical implementation of which had proven inadequate. The protocol is divided into nine chapters. The introduction in the first chapter contains not only definitions, but also a definition of the scope. Articles 2 and 4 define the relationship between the Protocol and the 1954 Agreement.
Chapter 2 summarizes additional provisions on the general protective provisions of the agreement. Article 5 defines the security measures in peacetime mentioned in the Agreement in more detail. These regulations include, for example, the creation of registers, the planning of emergency measures to protect against fire and the collapse of buildings and the preparation for the relocation of movable cultural property as possible measures. Article 6 tightens the rules on respecting cultural property. For example, hostile acts directed against cultural property that occur on the basis of “imperative military necessity” must be limited to the duration of a military use of the cultural property concerned. In addition, they may only be carried out if no other practical option leads to a comparable military advantage. Similar restrictions apply to the military use of cultural property, which exposes it to the risk of destruction or damage. Any attack based on this provision must be preceded by an effective warning. Article 7 defines precautionary measures during military operations, through which damage to protected cultural property is to be prevented as far as possible. Similarly, Article 8 obliges the parties to the conflict to remove or otherwise protect cultural property from the vicinity of military targets and to avoid setting up military targets in the vicinity of cultural property.
Chapter 3 defines, as an alternative to the special protection of the 1954 Agreement, an “enhanced protection”, which, according to Article 10, comes into question for cultural property which is “cultural heritage of the highest importance for mankind” and according to Article 11 by a corresponding body granted by UNESCO with the participation of the contracting parties. According to Article 12, cultural property under increased protection is inviolable comparable to the special protection of the 1954 Agreement. Articles 13 and 14 regulate the loss, suspension and revocation of enhanced protection.
Chapter 4 contains provisions on criminal liability and jurisdiction in the field of cultural property protection. In addition to the system of increased protection, it is the main innovation of the second protocol. Article 15 defines five serious violations of the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict: attacks against cultural property with increased protection, the use of cultural property with increased protection for military activities, destruction or appropriation of protected cultural property on a large scale, and attacks against protected cultural property or its Theft, pillage, embezzlement, or malicious damage. The contracting parties are obliged to criminalize these acts under their national law. Articles 16 to 20 regulate procedural aspects such as jurisdiction , prosecution , extradition and questions of mutual assistance . Article 21 also lays down effective measures to prevent violations of the other provisions of the Agreement and the Protocol.
Article 22 in Chapter 5 concerns the validity of the Protocol in non-international armed conflicts. Chapter 6 regulates institutional issues, such as Article 23 meetings of the contracting parties and the establishment of a committee for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict in Articles 24 to 28. The members of this twelve-member committee are elected for a term of four years, appropriate geographical representation is taken into account in the election. It is responsible for granting, suspending and lifting the enhanced protection of cultural property designated by the contracting states. Other tasks include receiving and reviewing applications for international assistance and the possible use of the fund to protect cultural property in the event of an armed conflict.
Article 29 regulates the establishment of a fund to provide financial or other support for “preparatory or other measures to be taken in peacetime” and for “emergency, provisional or other measures to protect cultural property in times of armed conflict” and for restoration after the end of the Fighting. The fund is financed by voluntary contributions from the States Parties to the Second Protocol.
The provisions in Articles 30 to 33 in Chapter 7 relate to the dissemination of the Agreement and international cooperation. Chapter 8 contains the implementing provisions for the Protocol, for example in Article 34 regulations on the role of protecting powers and in Articles 35 and 36 regulations on mediation in the event of differences of opinion regarding the interpretation of this Protocol. The final provisions on signature and ratification, accession and entry into force as well as termination are contained in Articles 39 to 47 of the 9th and last chapter.
In 2016, UNESCO, in collaboration with the International Institute for Humanitarian Law, published a manual entitled "Protection of Cultural Property: Military Manual". This describes the rules and obligations of the second protocol and gives practical advice on how these rules should be implemented by armed forces around the world. The manual also includes suggestions on best military practice in relation to these commitments. It relates only to international laws on armed conflict and does not deal with military aid provided in connection with other circumstances such as natural disasters.
Implementation in practice
Penalty for violations
The Rome Statute, which was adopted in July 1998 and entered into force four years later as the legal basis of the International Criminal Court (ICC), defines in Article 8 paragraph 2 deliberate attacks against buildings with a religious character, against institutions of education, art, science or with a charitable character against historical monuments as war crimes in both international and non-international armed conflicts. The criminal court thus has the power to prosecute these crimes if such an act was committed either by a national of a contracting party or on the territory of a contracting party. However, it only exercises its jurisdiction if the country concerned is unwilling or unable to ensure effective prosecution itself. In the first trial before the ICC for the destruction of cultural property, Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi has had to answer for the destruction of mausoleums in Timbuktu since September 2015 .
Article 3 of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia also contains provisions that enable violations of the fundamental principles of the 1954 Hague Convention to be prosecuted. On the basis of this article, there have been trials in an international court for the destruction of cultural property during an armed conflict for the first time since the conclusion of the Convention. The court found guilty verdicts, based on this article among other charges, among others in February 2001 against Dario Kordić , a commander of the Croatian Defense Council (HVO) during the Bosnian War , against Miodrag Jokić , a high-ranking naval commander of the Yugoslav People's Army during the Battle of Dubrovnik in 1991, as well as against Milan Martić , a politician and military leader of the internationally unrecognized Republic of Serbian Krajina . For the attacks on the Herzegovinian city of Mostar , which in November 1993 led to the destruction of the Stari most bridge, which is internationally recognized as an outstanding cultural asset, the trial of six defendants began in April 2006 before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Among them is the Croatian general Slobodan Praljak , who is suspected of having ordered the bridge to be bombarded.
The Khmer Rouge Tribunal , set up by the United Nations together with the government in Cambodia in July 2006, has the option, under Article 7 of the Law “Establishing the Extraordinary Chambers”, to destroy cultural property with express reference to the 1954 Hague Convention prosecuted during the dictatorship of the Khmer Rouge from April 1975 to January 1979. During this time, for example, the Khmer Rouge severely damaged most of the more than 3,300 temples and 130 mosques in Cambodia. They also destroyed all 73 Catholic churches and many other sites of religious or cultural importance. The application of the Hague Convention of 1954 is permissible in principle because Cambodia had become a contracting party in 1962 and thus before the takeover of the Khmer Rouge and because according to Article 19 of the agreement, even in non-international armed conflicts, every party to the conflict must at least comply with the provisions on respect for Cultural property is bound.
However, it is not yet known whether and to what extent trials will be opened in front of the court based on the destruction of cultural property. A possible problem with the application of Article 7 and thus the Hague Convention is that a legal requirement for this would be proof of the existence of an armed conflict in accordance with the definition used in international humanitarian law. Whether such an assessment of the Khmer Rouge dictatorship will be possible remains to be seen.
International acceptance and participating organizations
As of June 2018, 132 states have acceded to the Hague Convention of 1954 and 109 states to the first protocol. The Switzerland is since May 15, 1962 party to both agreements, Austria since March 25, 1964, the Federal Republic of Germany since August 11 1967 the GDR joined the Convention and the first Protocol of 1954 on January 16, 1974th To date, 77 countries have acceded to the second protocol from 1999, including Austria on March 1, 2002, Switzerland on July 9, 2004 and Germany on November 25, 2009.
Of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council , France acceded to the agreement in 1957, Russia is a successor to the Soviet Union , which also acceded in 1957 , the People's Republic of China ratified the convention in 2000 and the United States acceded in 2009. The United Kingdom signed the agreement in 1954, but did not become a party to the Convention and Protocols until 2017. The main reason for the long period between signing and ratification by the USA were reservations by the US Department of Defense during the Cold War that they would not be able to comply with the obligations of the Convention in the event of a possible use of nuclear weapons. The United General Staff , which includes the commanders-in-chief of all units of the American armed forces , unanimously voted in 1995 for voluntary compliance with the convention. On January 6, 1999, then US President Bill Clinton recommended that the US Senate ratify both agreements. In his view, these were not only in accordance with the principles and methods of the American armed forces, but were based in essential respects on them. After the Senate approved membership in September 2008, the American ambassador to UNESCO Stephen Engelken presented the ratification document to Kōichirō Matsuura , Secretary General of UNESCO, on March 13, 2009 . On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on May 14, 2004, the United Kingdom Government announced its intention to become a party to the Agreement and both protocols. The decisive factor in this was the conclusion of the second protocol in 1999, which, in the opinion of the British government, eliminated major weaknesses and ambiguities in the 1954 Convention. A draft law which, in addition to ratifying the Convention and the two protocols, also contains corresponding criminal law provisions, was announced by the British government in November 2006.
The most important international institution in the field of dissemination and implementation of the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict is the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), a legally independent specialized agency of the United Nations based in Paris . It acts as the depositary of the Hague Convention of 1954 and its two protocols and manages the “ International Register of Cultural Property under Special Protection ”.
In addition, Blue Shield International has existed since 1996 (formerly International Committee of the Blue Shield , ICBS; French Comité International du Bouclier Bleu , CIBB). Its task is to improve international cooperation in the field of cultural property protection and to support local and regional activities. The second protocol from 1999 explicitly mentions in Articles 11 and 27 the advisory role of the International Committee of the Blue Shield in the implementation of the agreement. Since the founding of the International Committee in 2017, there are already national Blue Shield committees in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Chile, Curacao, Denmark, France, Georgia, Great Britain, Guatemala comparable to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement , Haiti, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Madagascar, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Austria, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Spain, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and the USA. These national associations support the work of the International Committee in their respective home countries. As their umbrella organization , the " Association of the National Committees of the Blue Shield " (English Association of the National Committees of the Blue Shield , ANCBS) was created on September 28, 2006 , with all international activities being bundled in Blue Shield International since 2017.
While in many wars the freedom of movement of the United Nations personnel is significantly restricted due to security concerns, Blue Shield is seen as particularly suitable due to its structure to act flexibly and autonomously in armed conflicts. Despite the partial dissolution of state structures and the very unclear security situation as a result of the wars and unrest in Iraq, Syria, Mali, Egypt and Libya, the employees of Blue Shield and its national organizations have very robust undertakings to protect those there Cultural goods carried out. This applies in particular to the survey of cultural property to be protected, the creation of “no-strike lists” (- which contain the coordinates of significant cultural monuments) with local experts, the linking of civil and military structures and the training of local military personnel with regard to the protection of cultural property. From the perspective of Blue Shield, it is not enough to develop and adopt international legal norms such as the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict or the Doha Statement of the “Conference of 'Ulamâ on Islam and Cultural Heritage”. It is necessary to implement and implement these standards effectively globally. It is also about preventing antiquities and the trade in looted cultural goods to finance military conflicts. As a result of the destruction of cultural assets through armed conflicts, war and unrest in Iraq, Syria, Mali or Afghanistan, but also through earthquakes such as in Haiti or Nepal, cooperation between Blue Shield and national armed forces such as the US Army or the British has developed Army developed.
The “International League of National Societies for the Protection of Cultural Property”, based in the Swiss city of Friborg, has also existed as an international umbrella organization since May 1997 . Through the activities of these national and international organizations and associations, which also include the protection of cultural property from disasters in peacetime, civil society structures will assume an increasing role in the field of cultural property protection and support the work of state and international institutions.
An example of international cooperation in the protection of cultural assets was the temporary intermediate storage of art treasures from the National Museum of the Afghan capital Kabul in Switzerland. The works of art in the National Museum, which were threatened both by the Afghan civil war that lasted until 1995 and by the subsequent rule of the Taliban regime, were relocated to a so-called “ Afghanistan Museum in Exile” in Bubendorf, Switzerland, in 1999 with the consent of all conflict parties . The exhibition, supported primarily by the voluntary work of Swiss citizens and Afghans in exile as well as donations amounting to around 1.5 million Swiss francs, which was supervised by the Swiss Afghanistan Institute based in Bubendorf, was from October 2000 to October 2006 for open to the public and was visited by around 50,000 people during this time. In March 2007, under the direction of UNESCO and with the support of the German Air Force, the objects were transported back to Kabul. According to the spokesman for the Bubendorfer Museum, it was the largest repatriation of art objects since the end of the Second World War.
In contrast, the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad was severely looted from April 8 to April 12, 2003, around three weeks after the start of the Iraq war . The museum had only reopened three years earlier on April 28, 2000, around nine years after it had been closed as a result of the second Gulf War . Later investigations, carried out by a US commission in collaboration with museum staff, found evidence of at least three independent incidents. According to the results of the commission, the looting was partly spontaneous and indiscriminate. However, a number of pieces of evidence also indicated that some of the thieves had a good knowledge of the museum as well as knowledge of the cultural assets on display. Although particularly valuable objects were kept in security rooms in the museum's basement prior to the war, there were also considerable losses here. The commission corrected initial estimates from around 170,000 stolen works of art to 11,000 to 15,000 stolen objects. By the time the test results were published in 2005, around 5,000 of them had been recovered in various ways.
In summary, the protection of cultural property is becoming increasingly important both nationally and internationally. This also applies to the particularly sensitive cultural memory, the growing cultural diversity and the economic basis (such as tourism ) of a state, region or municipality. In particular, there is a connection between the destruction of cultural property, economic foundations and causes of flight, as the President of Blue Shield International , Karl von Habsburg , explained during a cultural property protection mission in Lebanon in April 2019 with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon : “Cultural goods are a part the identity of the people who live in a particular place. If you destroy their culture, you also destroy their identity. Many people are uprooted, often no longer have any prospects and as a result flee from their homeland. "
Effective cooperation with the local population is of particular importance in protecting cultural assets. The establishment of rules or the training of the military, civil administration and international organizations requires the involvement of the local population who are familiar with the locality in order to be effective. Karl von Habsburg summarized this with the words: "Without the local community and without the local participants, that would be completely impossible".
Realization at national level
The implementation of the agreement in Germany, Austria and Switzerland includes the security measures prescribed by the convention in peacetime. In practice, this concerns the registration and marking of immovable cultural property, suitable structural measures for the protection of movable cultural property including the security archiving of cultural property of particularly high importance, the adoption of national legal provisions for the protection of cultural property including the punishment of serious violations of the provisions of the agreement as well as the spread of the convention.
In Germany, the federal states are primarily responsible for protecting cultural assets . The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) is responsible for coordinating these activities and disseminating the agreements . This acts as the successor organization to the Federal Office for Civil Protection , to which these tasks were assigned by the “Act of April 11, 1967 on the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflicts”. At the private law level, the German Society for the Protection of Cultural Property has existed since 1996 , which emerged from the merger of two associations established in 1993. The establishment of a National Blue Shield Committee in Germany is in preparation.
A certificate is issued about the recognition of a cultural asset as worthy of protection and thus the authorization to affix the protective symbol. This contains excerpts from the text of the Convention in German, English, French and Russian. The national legal basis in Germany for prosecuting violations of the principles of the Hague Convention of 1954 is Section 11 of the International Criminal Code, which came into force in 2002 . The marking of cultural property with the simple symbol of the convention has so far only been widespread in the states of Bavaria , Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate and, due to the Third Implementation Regulation of the GDR's Monument Preservation Act of 1975, in the eastern German states. The marking often used in the latter area, a small enamel plaque on which the symbol of the Hague Convention is shown in a circle and another frame, no longer corresponds to the regulations issued by the BBK for the design and technical attachment of the signage.
The Barbarastollen near Oberried near Freiburg im Breisgau is the “Central Salvation Site of the Federal Republic of Germany” for archiving reproductions of cultural assets of high national or cultural historical importance . Since April 22, 1978, the Barbarastollen has been the only object in Germany to be subject to the special protection of the 1954 agreement. A number of important museums and other institutions such as the German Library in Frankfurt am Main are equipped with decentralized rescue rooms. In the GDR, a bunker built in the 1940s and subsequently equipped with laboratories and air conditioning near Potsdam was used as a central archive for microfilm recordings of important cultural assets from the beginning of the 1970s , after the premises used for decentralized storage were inadequate had proven in terms of long-term stability. After German reunification in 1990, the holdings were gradually inspected and transferred to the relevant federal German authorities.
In order to prevent misuse of the protection, the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Federal States set the maximum number of immovable cultural objects that can be placed under the protection of the Hague Convention for each Federal State in its resolution of June 26, 1998. The total number for Germany is 10,480, monuments from prehistory and early history as well as all museums, libraries and archives may also be marked.
In Austria, the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict is viewed as part of monument protection and is subject to federal legislation. The relevant legal basis is the Monument Protection Act , in particular Paragraph 13, which describes measures in accordance with the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention of 1954 and the two protocols have become part of Austrian law through publication in the Austrian Federal Law Gazette. A punishment for violations of these agreements is possible on the basis of Article 9 of the Federal Constitutional Law in connection with Article 64 of the Criminal Code .
The main responsible for the protection of cultural property in Austria authorities are the Ministry of National Defense and Sport , the Department of Civil Defense, crisis and disaster management of the Ministry of the Interior as well as the the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture downstream Bundesdenkmalamt . In November 1967, a tunnel in the Altaussee salt mine was placed under special protection for use as a salvage site, but the planned use was abandoned and the special protection deleted on September 12, 2000. Instead, storage in decentralized shelters is now primarily intended for securing movable cultural property in Austria.
The Austrian Society for the Protection of Cultural Property, founded in 1980, acts as an association primarily in the areas of educating the population and promoting personal initiatives, partly in cooperation with the Austrian Armed Forces . Rudolf Striedinger , military commander of Lower Austria , has been president of the company since 2014 . The Austrian National Committee Blue Shield , founded in 2008, emerged from the Austrian Society for the Protection of Cultural Property. Ursula Stenzel , a former member of the European Parliament and from 2005 to 2015 head of the first district of Vienna (Inner City) , which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site , has been President of the National Committee since 2011 .
The Federal Monuments Office's cultural property protection list has been kept since 2009 and as of February 2019 comprises a total of 135 objects (individual objects, monuments, ensembles).
In Switzerland, measures to protect cultural property are jointly responsible for the federal government, the cantons and the communes. Important authorities, which are collectively referred to as "Cultural Property Protection" (KGS), are the Swiss Committee for Cultural Property Protection of the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport , the Department of Cultural Property Protection in the Federal Office for Civil Protection, the cantonal departments for cultural property protection, monument preservation and civil protection as well as regional level and in the municipalities the KGS groups of civil protection organizations. The Swiss Society for the Protection of Cultural Property , founded in 1964, works as a private association with these authorities to provide support. There is not yet a national Blue Shield Committee in Switzerland, but it is expected to be founded in the near future.
Legal bases are
- the Federal Act on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, Disaster and Emergencies of June 20, 2014
- the Ordinance on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, Disaster and Emergency of October 29, 2014
- the DDPS ordinance on seizure documentation and photographic backup copies of April 5, 2016
- the ordinance of the DDPS on the labeling of cultural property and personnel responsible for the protection of cultural property of 14 November 2017, and
- the Federal Act on Civil Protection and Civil Protection of October 4, 2002.
A possible prosecution of violations of the Hague Convention of 1954 in Switzerland is based on Article 111 of the Military Criminal Law of 1927 in the 2007 version. The Federal Microfilm Archive has existed on the site of the former since 1979 for the safekeeping of seizure documentation and back-up copies of cultural objects that are particularly worth preserving Ried sandstone quarry in Heimiswil in the canton of Bern as the federal government's central recovery site
- Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid (ed.): Protection of cultural property in armed conflicts. 7th edition. Federal Office for Civil Protection, Bonn 2007 ( PDF ).
- Sabina Eichel: Protection of cultural property in armed conflict. (= Studies on International and European Law, Volume 157). Publishing house Dr. Kovač, Hamburg 2017, ISBN 978-3-8300-9747-1 (also dissertation, University of Passau, 2017).
- Frank Fechner, Thomas Oppermann, Lyndel V. Prott (ed.): Principles of the protection of cultural assets. Approaches in German, European and International Law. (= Tübingen writings on international and European law, Volume 37.) Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-428-08538-8 .
- Wilfried Fiedler, Stefan Turner: Bibliography on the law of the international protection of cultural property. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-89949-037-1 .
- Erich Frank, Wolfgang Teschner: Hague Convention - short commentary on the second protocol and important annex regulations. Verlag Österreich, Vienna 2003, ISBN 978-3-7046-4054-3 .
- Kerstin Odendahl : Protection of cultural property. Development, structure and dogmatics of a cross-level system of standards. (= Jus publicum, volume 140). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2005, ISBN 3-16-148643-9 (also habilitation, University of Trier, 2004).
English language books
- Kevin Chamberlain: War and Cultural Heritage. An Analysis of the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two Protocols. Institute of Art and Law, Leicester 2004, ISBN 1-903987-05-9 .
- Howard M. Hensel: The Protection of Cultural Objects during Armed Conflict. In: Howard M. Hensel (Ed.): The Law of Armed Conflict. Constraints on the Contemporary Use of Military Force. Ashgate, Aldershot et al. 2005, ISBN 0-7546-4543-6 , pp. 39-104.
- Roger O'Keefe: The Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 2006, ISBN 0-521-86797-5 (also dissertation at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge 1999).
- Jiří Toman : The Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Commentary on the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its Protocol, Signed on 14 May 1954 in The Hague, and on Other Instruments of International Law Concerning Such Protection. UNESCO / Dartmouth Publishing Company, Aldershot et al. 1996, ISBN 9-23-102862-6 .
- Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulations for the Execution of the Convention 1954 . In: Site of UNESCO (English)
- Hague Convention of May 14, 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict . In: Admin.ch (German text, Swiss version)
- Second Protocol of March 26, 1999 to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict . In: Admin.ch (German text, Swiss version)
- The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict . In: Website of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO
- 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict . In: Website of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief
- Protection of cultural property . In: Website of the German UNESCO Commission
- This marking was probably made illegally, since the Limburg monastery as a ruin cannot be a cultural asset depot from a purely structural point of view.
- Dietrich Schindler, Jirí Toman (Ed.): The Laws of Armed Conflicts: A Collection of Conventions, Resolutions, and Other Documents. 3rd revised edition. Sijthoff & Noordhoff International Publishers, Alphen aan den Rijn 1988, pp. 69-93, ISBN 9-02-473306-5
- Dietrich Schindler, Jirí Toman (Ed.): The Laws of Armed Conflicts: A Collection of Conventions, Resolutions, and Other Documents. 3rd revised edition. Sijthoff & Noordhoff International Publishers, Alphen aan den Rijn 1988, pp. 737-739, ISBN 9-02-473306-5
- Dietrich Schindler, Jirí Toman (Ed.): The Laws of Armed Conflicts: A Collection of Conventions, Resolutions, and other Documents. 3rd revised edition. Sijthoff & Noordhoff International Publishers, Alphen aan den Rijn 1988, pp. 747-768, ISBN 9-02-473306-5
- Dietrich Schindler, Jirí Toman (Ed.): The Laws of Armed Conflicts: A Collection of Conventions, Resolutions, and Other Documents. 3rd revised edition. Sijthoff & Noordhoff International Publishers, Alphen aan den Rijn 1988, pp. 777-780, ISBN 9-02-473306-5
- Protect cultural property in the event of armed conflict. UNESCO information kit, May 2004
- Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. UNESCO Document HC / 1999/7
- Roger O'Keefe: The Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2006, ISBN 0-521-86797-5 , pp. 140/141
- UNESCO Division of Cultural Heritage: International Register of Cultural Property under Special Protection. Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague Convention, 1954) UNESCO document CLT / HER / CHP, Paris 2015 ( PDF file , approx. 70 kB)
- Report on the Implementation of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two 1954 and 1999 Protocols. Report on the Activities from 1995 to 2004 UNESCO document CLT-2005 / WS / 6, Paris 2005 ( PDF file , approx. 350 kB)
- Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflicts of March 26, 1999 ( Federal Law Gazette 2009 II pp. 716, 717 , in three languages), new announcement of December 16, 2011 ( Federal Law Gazette 2012 II pp. 54, 55 , German)
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- Situation in the Republic of Mali, The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, ICC-01 / 12-01 / 15 .
- Hirad Abtahi: The Protection of Cultural Property in Times of Armed Conflict: The Practice of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. In: Harvard Human Rights Journal. 14/2001. Harvard Law School, pp. 1-32,
- Kordić and Čerkez (IT-95-14 / 2). "Lasva Valley" case records from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
- Jokić, Miodrag (IT-01-42 / 1) “Dubrovnik”. Case records from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
- Martic (IT-95-11). “RSK” case records of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
- Prlić et al. (IT-04-74). Case records from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
- Law on the Establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers, with inclusion of amendments as promulgated on October 27, 2004. NS / RKM / 1004/006.
- Report on the 23 August 2006 Meeting on the US Ratification of The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. US National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (US / ICOMOS), 2006
- Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, John Piper: War and Cultural Property: The 1954 Hague Convention and the status of US ratification. In: International Journal of Cultural Property. 10/2001. Cambridge University Press, pp. 217-245,
- Press release by Andrew McIntosh, UK Government Secretary for Monument Protection, May 14, 2004; Online: UK To Ratify Convention Safeguarding Cultural Heritage In War-Time ( Memento from December 23, 2012 in the web archive archive.today )
- Corine Koch (trans., Ed.): A Blue Shield for the Protection of our Endangered Cultural Heritage. International Preservation Issues Number Four. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Paris 2003, ISBN 2-91-274302-8
- See Sabine von Schorlemer “Kulturgutzerstruction. The extinction of cultural heritage in crisis countries as a challenge for the United Nations. ”(2016), p. 785ff.
- See Corine Wegener, Marjan Otter “Cultural Property at War: Protecting Heritage during Armed Conflict” in The Getty Conservation Institute, Newsletter 23.1, Spring 2008.
- See Hans Haider in an interview with Karl Habsburg "Abuse of cultural goods is punishable" in Wiener Zeitung on June 29, 2012; Aisling Irwin "A no-strike list may shield Yemen`s ancient treasures from war" in Daily News from January 23, 2017.
- Cf. Friedrich Schipper: "Iconoclasm: The global norms for the protection of cultural assets do not apply." In: Der Standard from March 6, 2015.
- See Nico Hines “The Last Crusade. Real-Life Indiana Jones Vs. ISIS ”in The Daily Beast, May 7, 2015.
- See Eden Stiffman "Cultural Preservation in Disasters, War Zones. Presents Big Challenges "in The Chronicle Of Philanthropy, May 11, 2015.
- Matthew Bogdanos: The Casualties of War: The Truth about the Iraq Museum. In: American Journal of Archeology. 109 (3 )/2005. The Archaeological Institute of America, pp. 477-526,
- See Sabine von Schorlemer: Destruction of cultural assets. The eradication of cultural heritage in crisis countries as a challenge for the United Nations. Nomos, 2016.
- Roger O'Keefe, Camille Péron, Tofig Musayev, Gianluca Ferrari: Protection of Cultural Property. Military Manual. UNESCO, 2016.
- Karl von Habsburg on a mission in Lebanon. Retrieved July 19, 2019 .
- Jyot Hosagrahar: Culture: at the heart of SDGs. UNESCO courier, April – June 2017.
- Rick Szostak: The Causes of Economic Growth: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Springer Science & Business Media, 2009, ISBN 9783540922827 .
- United Nations Peacekeeping - Action plan to preserve heritage sites during conflict
- Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid (ed.): Protection of cultural property in armed conflicts. Sixth edition. Bonn 2007
- Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance: Instructions for affixing the international trademark for the identification of cultural property Bonn 2006 ( PDF file , approx. 82 kB)
- Joachim Schüring: History in cans. In: Adventure archeology. 2/2005. Publishing company Spectrum of Science Heidelberg, pp. 50–53,
- Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance : Immovable cultural property (last accessed on September 24, 2012)
- Monument Protection Act - Federal law on the protection of monuments due to their historical, artistic or other cultural significance. Federal Law Gazette for the Republic of Austria, Part I, No. 170/1999 (issued on August 19, 1999)
- cultural property protection. Federal Monuments Office , accessed on February 3, 2019 .
- Cultural property protection (KGS). A global task. Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection, 2005
- Federal Chancellery : Federal Act on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, Disaster and Emergencies (KGSG). SR 520.3. In: Systematic Legal Collection SR . Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation , June 20, 2014, accessed on December 15, 2017 (as of January 1, 2016).
- Federal Chancellery : Ordinance on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflicts, Disasters and Emergencies (KGSV). SR 520.31. In: Systematic Legal Collection SR . Swiss Federal Council , October 29, 2014, accessed on December 15, 2017 (as of January 1, 2016).
- Federal Chancellery : Ordinance of the DDPS on seizure documentation and photographic backup copies (VSFS). SR 520.311. In: Systematic Legal Collection SR . Swiss Federal Council , April 5, 2016, accessed on January 5, 2018 (status on May 1, 2016).
- Federal Chancellery : Ordinance of the DDPS on the labeling of cultural goods and personnel responsible for the protection of cultural goods (VKKP). SR 520.312. In: Systematic Legal Collection SR . Swiss Federal Council , November 14, 2017, accessed on January 5, 2018 (as of January 1, 2018).
- Federal Chancellery : Federal Act on Civil Protection and Civil Protection (Population and Civil Protection Act, BZG). SR 520.1. In: Systematic Legal Collection SR . Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation , October 4, 2002, accessed on December 15, 2017 (status on January 1, 2017).