Protection of cultural heritage in disaster contexts


In practice, protecting cultural heritage has reflected not only in having an inventory of cultural heritage and plans to evacuate movable cultural properties in heritage sites, museums, libraries, etc., when they are threatened by predictable disasters, but also in environmental and architectural laws and policies on construction around certain historical places. Deliberate destruction of cultural heritage (e.g., in armed conflict) lead to criminal prosecution under both national and international law. Under the Rome Statute of the ICC, for instance, it is a war crime to “intentionally [direct] attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments […] provided they are not military objectives”.

Note: See source document for full reference.

Applicable to: