- Did They Really Forget How to Do It?: Iraq, Syria, and the International Response to Protect a Shared Heritage
- Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies
- Penn State University Press
- Volume 4, Number 4, 2016
- pp. 341-362
- View Citation
- Additional Information
The instrumental role played by the Monuments Men in protecting and rebuilding the cultural life of Europe inspired the international community to enforce the protection of cultural heritage following World War II. Accordingly, UNESCO was internationally acknowledged as the main body to preserve and protect cultural heritage, supported by several other specialized partners. Nevertheless, several nations experienced great cultural loss. This article discusses the systematic protection of cultural heritage in times of war, set by the international community under the lead of UNESCO. The argument here is built upon a comparative analysis of the damage that Iraqi and Syrian heritage have suffered and of the international response to mitigate it, especially in the context of “shared heritage.” This article suggests developing a response that can practically protect the cultural heritage of countries in crisis.