Syria's World Cultural Heritage and Individual Criminal Responsibility
International Review of Law 2015.3
37 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 27, 2015
Recent reports have confirmed damage to five of the six Syrian world heritage sites during the current armed conflict as well as extensive looting of several of its archaeological sites on the Syrian Tentative List of world heritage. This article examines the role and fate of Syrian world cultural heritage from the beginning of the conflict, maps out the different cultural property obligations applicable to Syria while illustrating, where possible, how they may have been violated. Then, it assesses if and how those responsible for these acts can be prosecuted and punished. The analysis reveals an accountability gap concerning crimes against Syrian world cultural heritage. As such, the article proposes to reinstate the debate over crimes against common cultural heritage which once arose in the context of the Buddhas of Bamiyan.
Keywords: Syrian world cultural heritage, criminal accountability, Chautauqua Blueprint, Syrian Antiquities Law, Crimes against common cultural heritage
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