Cultural Heritage Protection as a Security Issue in the 21st Century: Recent Developments

Sabine von Schorlemer


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Throughout history, cultural property has permanently been at risk in armed conflict as belligerents always aimed at razing to the ground or plundering the enemy’s cultural heritage. Cultural property is a war victim time and again, either by armed attack or by collateral damage. This background opens the way for new insights into research on cultural heritage protection as a security issue in the 21st century. In order to fight the root causes of heritage destruction and extremism, UNESCO is advocating strongly a comprehensive approach, using also its “soft power” across the Organization’s mandate. Thus, despite its limited resources, UNESCO is an important actor in promoting a culture of peace, justice and tolerance on a worldwide scale.


cultural heritage; armed conflict; UNESCO

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