IfA’s Chief Executive, supporting representatives of many other organisations and interested individuals, has written to the Daily Telegraph lamenting the lack of progress by the UK in ratifying the Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/10979564/Britain-should-ratif…).

The convention was drafted 1954, and Government announced its intention to ratify it in 2003 following looting in Iraq.

In 2008 a draft Cultural Property Protection (Armed Conflict) Bill passed through parliamentary scrutiny with only minor revisions suggested. Ministers of successive governments have pledged their commitment to ratification as soon as parliamentary time can be found.

This commitment is to be applauded, but continuing failure to ratify is mystifying. It has all-party support. Protecting cultural property in conflict is seen by the Armed Forces as a “force multiplier” – something that makes their job easier.

The latest Queen’s Speech left ample parliamentary time free to pass additional legislation in the current session. So the Government should delay no further in introducing the necessary legislation to ratify this important treaty.

Syria’s Cultural Heritage Is a Major Victim of the Country’s Civil War

By Alice Speri of VICE NEWS

As if that weren’t enough, there is more to mourn in Syria than the estimated 146,000 people — or 300,000, by some counts — who have been killed since fighting started there three years ago.

In addition to its people and cities, Syria is also losing its outstanding cultural heritage at a frightening pace.

Syria’s historical monuments have come under fire — some used as outposts and battlegrounds for the civil war, others looted in the chaos, others just victims of “collateral damage.”…   Read More>>