Security of Cultural Property: U.S. Engagement and Potential for Improvement
E-Conservation Magazine, Issue 23, March 2012
6 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2011 Last revised: 22 Feb 2015
Date Written: March 1, 2012
Recent armed conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan and political violence in Egypt have revealed the strategic significance of cultural property. This paper assesses the role of historic sites and antiquities in foreign engagement. Over the past century, U.S. foreign policy has had successes and shortcomings in leveraging protection of cultural patrimony to strategic advantage. The contrast of successful policy on the protection of immovable cultural property, such as religious monuments, in armed conflict and missed opportunities for tactical intelligence on the trade in movable cultural property, such as antiquities trafficking, identifies potential for development of foreign policy.
Keywords: cultural security, cultural diplomacy, cultural property, armed conflict, looting, foreign policy
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