Cultural Heritage in Conflict: Cases of Conservation in Syria, Mali, and Ukraine

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“Cultural Heritage in Conflict: Cases of Conservation in Syria, Mali, and Ukraine” is a free webinar organised by the ICOM UK’s Students & Emerging Professionals working group on 19 December 2022.

The webinar will discuss the destruction and rebuilding of cultural heritage in areas of conflict as well as the international legal context for the protection of heritage and the response of the international community. Furthermore, specific cases of destruction and restoration of cultural heritage from Syria, Mali and Ukraine will be presented by Rebekah Mills, guest speaker, “a JD/LLM candidate at Villanova University and the University of York”.

Cultural heritage is particularly vulnerable in times of conflict, even though its destruction is prohibited by international law. Heritage is often collateral damage as well as intentionally targeted to diminish a community’s sense of place and identity. Government and independent bodies hold a responsibility towards prevention of destruction, heritage restoration and prosecution.

KEY Takeaways

  • Ukrainian rebuilding actions are a model for heritage worldwide, with digitisation playing a key role. The Ukrainian Ministry used NFT’s to help fund the reconstruction of heritage.
  • Efforts in Mali also actively digitise cultural heritage through a partenship with google.
  • In Syria, especially the Syrian-Armenian community has come together and started rebuilding many destroyed sites.
  • The international community should expand their focus to cultural heritage outside the World Heritage List.
  • Intangible heritage is not considered in most of the international literature on the protection of cultural heritage.
  • Authenticity is difficult to balance and secure in restoration of cultural heritage post-conflict.

Our take

The webinar is particularly pertinent at this time with conflict continuing and the destruction of cultural properties around the world. The talk will share insight into the legal system surrounding the protection of cultural heritage, as well as shed light on the intricate process for professionals in their efforts to restore destroyed heritage assets through the cases presented.

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Free webinar on Mon 19 Dec – ICOM UK Students & Emerging Professional Talk – Cultural Heritage in Conflict: Cases of Conservation in Syria, Mali, and Ukraine

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