View the h-museum Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in h-museum's April 2003 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in h-museum's April 2003 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the h-museum home page.
---------------------------------------------------- ICOM-CC appalled by looting in Iraq. The International Council of Museums - Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC) is witnessing the looting and damage of cultural property in the aftermath of war in Iraq with the utmost concern. When ICOM-CC (Feb 25, 2003) and shortly after the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) as well as other international organisations warned about the consequences of war, we stressed our concern for "... the prospects of possible damage to our shared cultural heritage and loss of human life as a result of armed conflicts." ICOM-CC, with many other international organisations, must now again stress how significant and crucial The Hague Convention is to all regimes. It is imperative that all parties in Iraq realise their responsibilities towards cultural property. In the "Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict", drawn up in The Hague, 14 May 1954, and entered in force 7 August 1956, Paragraph I. "General provisions regarding protection", Article 4. "Respect for cultural property" section 3 reads: "The High Contracting Parties further undertake to prohibit, prevent and, if necessary, put a stop to any form of theft, pillage or misappropriation of, and any acts of vandalism directed against, cultural property. They shall refrain from requisitioning movable cultural property situated in the territory of another High Contracting Party." ICOM-CC will hold all so-called Coalition Force Partners accountable for the looting and damage to cultural property in Iraq. Further paragraph X, "Protocol for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict", article 1, reads: "The High Contracting Parties are agreed as follows: 1. Each High Contracting Party undertakes to prevent the exportation, from a territory occupied by it during an armed conflict, of cultural property as defined in Article 1 of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, signed at The Hague on 14 May, 1954." Article 3 expands on this role by saying: "Each High Contracting Party undertakes to return, at the close of hostilities, to the competent authorities of the territory previously occupied, cultural property which is in its territory, if such property has been exported in contravention of the principle laid down in the first paragraph. Such property shall never be retained as war reparations." ICOM-CC urges the so-called Coalition Forces to act according to The Hague Convention. There simply is no excusable exception for not following these universal rules of civilised conduct. ICOM-CC hopes that inventories of the holdings of looted Iraq museums as soon as possible can be distributed to Interpol and also widely (via e-lists) to the entire museum world in order to identify these stolen antiquities in the market for their restitution or seizure. On behalf of ICOM - Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC), Jørgen Wadum Chair ICOM-CC ICOM-CC is the largest of the international committees under the International Council of Museums (ICOM) with members' world-wide from every branch of the museum and conservation profession. ICOM is a non-governmental organisation maintaining formal relations with UNESCO and having a consultative status with the United Nations' Economic and Social Council. ICOM-CC Secretariat, 13, via San Michele, 00153 Rome, ITALY; Tel.: + 39 06 58 55 34 10; Fax: + 39 06 58 55 33 49; E-mail: email@example.com -- H-MUSEUM H-Net Network for Museum Professionals E -Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org WWW: http://www.h-museum.net