Heritage Under Siege

Military Implementation of Cultural Property Protection following the 1954 Hague Convention


Heritage under Siege, winner of the Blue Shield Award 2012, is the result of international multidisciplinary research on the subject of military implementation of cultural property protection (CPP) in the event of conflict. The book considers the practical feasibility as well as ideal perspectives within the juridical boundaries of the 1954 Hague Convention. The situation of today's cultural property protection is discussed. New case studies further introduce and analyze the subject. The results of field research which made it possible to follow and test processes in conflict areas including training, education, international, interagency, and interdisciplinary cooperation are presented here. This book gives a useful overview of the playing field of CPP and its players, as well as contemporary CPP in the context of military tasks during peace keeping and asymmetric operations. It includes suggestions for future directions including possibilities to balance interests and research outcomes as well as military deliverables. A separate section deals with legal aspects.
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EUR €116.00USD $146.00

Biographical Note

Joris D. Kila, PhD (Amsterdam, 2012) is researcher at the University of Amsterdam's Institute for Culture and History, reserve Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Netherlands Army and holds degrees from Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam. He undertook cultural rescue missions in Iraq, Macedonia, Egypt and Libya and is affiliated with several heritage organizations. He is Chair of the International Military Cultural Resources Working Group IMCuRWG and has written numerous publications on heritage protection.

Review Quotes

"The book by Joris D. Kila falls squarely in the heart of this international debate from a perspective based on personal experiences, but no less complete and comprehensive. (...) Ultimately, this work is undoubtedly interesting because of its stimulating and enlightening content", Ignacio Rodríguez Temiño, AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology Volume 3 - 2013 p. 139-142.

Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Chapter 1. Introduction
Research Methods, Sources Used, and the Multidisciplinary Nature of the Subject
The Production of Knowledge about CPP and Raising Awareness on the Subject
The relevance of Military Cultural Property Protection
The Volatile Characteristics of Cultural Property
Looting and Poverty

Chapter 2. The Playing Field of Cultural Property Protection
Setting the Stage
The Military
The Media
Governmental Institutions and Political Organizations
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
International Organizations (IOs)
Working and Advisory Groups
Commerce, Crime, Law and Order, and Religion
Trends in Cultural Property Protection until 1954
The Sociology of Cultural Property Protection and the Military

Chapter 3. Case Studies
An Ethnographical Museum for Afghanistan Iconoclasm in the Orthodox Monastery of Matejce in Macedonia: The Creative Use of Damaged Cultural Property
Saving Uruk from Looting
The Cultural Importance of Uruk
History of Excavating Uruk
Military Cultural Intervention
Key Elements for an Effective Cultural Property Protection Strategy Found in This Case
CPP and Civil Military Cooperation
Cultural Property Officers
Handover Procedures
Legal Obligations and Implications
Looting, Illicit Traffic and the Link with Security
Conclusions Concerning the Uruk Case
The Polish Approach in Iraq
A Case Example of (Unintended) Violation the Hague Convention: Hescos
The Case of the Iraqi National Library
Egypt February 12–16th 2011
The Necropolis of Saqqara; An Introduction
Conclusions from the Egypt Looting Casus
Egyptian Epilogue
The Current Conflict in Libya
An Introduction to the Libyan World Heritage Sites
Follow up Activities to Safeguard Heritage in Libya
Lessons Learned

Chapter 4. The Way Ahead
Balancing the Interests
Identified Dilemmas or Challenges Standing in the Way of CPP Implementation
Legal Aspects to Consider when Implementing Military CPP
Control Mechanisms and Sanctions
Common Denominators as Part of Solutions
Opportunities for Effective Implementation of Military CPP
Research, Education, and Exercise
Different Perceptions of the Relevance and Need for Training between the Military and Parties Who Want to Follow Up on the Hague Convention of 1954’s Article 25
Teaching and Training
Training in situ
Examples of Other Means for Training Military: the CPP Playing Cards
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Satellite Remote Sensing
Current Examples of Military CPP Implementation, a Comparative Analysis
Concluding Remarks: Proceeding From Violently Opposed to Being Accepted as Self-Evident
Valorization of the Research Outcomes


1: The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954 and the first and second protocols.
2: Examples of CPP field pocket cards in German and Dutch prepared in cooperation with the U.S. DoD legacy program.
3: NATO Civil-Military Co-Operation (CIMIC) Doctrine AJP 9.
4: Regulation Number 200-2 Environmental Quality, CENTCOM Contingency Environmental Guidance.
5: STANAG 7141 EP Joint NATO Doctrine For Environmental Protection During NATO Led Military Activities.
6: Mission Report Civil-Military Assessment Mission for Egyptian Heritage. By Blue Shield and IMCuRWG February 12 to 16, 2011.



Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs, Military Academies, Cultural Sciences, Diplomats, Heritage studies, Archaeologists, Policymakers, Conflict studies, Juridical experts, Law faculties, military planning officers.