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Armed conflict has traditionally seen the targeting and destruction of cultural property and heritage from antiquity to modern conflicts in Syria. Despite the cultural connection between such objects and traditions with people, international law has concentrated on its preservation, prosecution and punishment, rather than reparations for the loss or damage. This article highlights the growing jurisprudence and state practice which suggests a need to rethink this traditional approach and develop a framework for ensuring reparations for damage and destruction caused to cultural property and heritage. This is not only to undo the harm as far as possible, but to ensure the legacy of such culture for future generations. We take a socio-legal approach to these issues drawing from our backgrounds in transitional justice, archaeology and law, to suggest a thicker and contextually relevant approach to reparations, appreciating the reproduction or rehabilitation of culture carries its own meaning and post-conflict societies often convey the violence of the past into the meta-conflict in law and politics of the present. That said, we argue that reparations can play an important role, drawing from human rights law and heritage studies, to remedy the loss to cultural heritage that can more effectively benefit such victims.
- armed conflict
- Cultural property
- international law
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Cultural Studies
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
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10/11/2016 → …