Protection of Cultural Property

Painted churches in the Troodos region, Cyprus ©UNESCO Nomination file

“Enhanced protection” is one of the features of the 1999 Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

The granting of such protection by the Committee to sites in countries that are party to the Second Protocol can be made under three conditions:

  • that the site be of the greatest importance to humanity;
  • that it be protected by adequate domestic legal and administrative measures recognizing its exceptional cultural and historic value and ensuring the highest level of protection;
  • and that it not be used for military purposes or to shield military sites.

The Parties to a conflict must ensure the immunity of cultural property under enhanced protection by refraining from making it the object of attack or from any use of the property or its immediate surroundings in support of military action. To this end the Second Protocol provides criminal sanctions in case of violation of this immunity or other serious violation of its provisions.

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