April 1, 2003
On the recommendation of the Professional Responsibilities Committee, the Executive Committee of the AIA at its September meeting unanimously endorsed the Draft UNESCO Declaration Concerning the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage (PDF). As stated in the introduction to the Draft document, “the main purpose of the Draft Declaration is threefold (a) to uphold existing obligations of States under international agreements for protection of cultural heritage in force; (b) to prevent and prohibit the intentional destruction of cultural heritage, and when linked, natural heritage, in time of peace and in the event of armed conflict; and (c) to encourage States to become party to instruments protecting cultural heritage if they have not already done so.”
The Draft Document will be discussed at the Autumn 2003 UNESCO General Conference.
The AIA’s action is consistent with its early support for the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and the UNIDROIT convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects of 1995.