Protecting the Past: The Fate of Cultural Property in Times of Armed Conflict

The Conference was organized by The Lawyers Committee for Cultural Heritage Protection, a nonprofit organization of lawyers, law students and interested members of the public who have joined together to promote the preservation and protection of cultural heritage resources in the United States and internationally through education and advocacy. The Conference was co-aponsored by Andrews Kurth LLP, George Washington University Museum Studies Program and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Legal Department.


April 24, 2008

1:00pm - 1:30pm Check-in / Registration
1:30pm - 4:30pm Program
4:30pm - 5:30pm Reception

National Trust for Historic Preservation
Boardroom, 2nd floor
1785 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Panel I - Looking Back: Lessons Learned from Past Conflicts

Individual presentations, followed by questions.

  • Lynn H. Nicholas, independent researcher of Nazi era social and cultural policy and author of "Rape of Europa," discussed Nazi and World War II art looting, wartime preservation measures and post-War restitution. [bio]
  • Robert M. Edsel, author of the non-fiction book, "Rescuing Da Vinci," co-producer of the documentary film, "The Rape of Europa," and Founder and President of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, discussed the role of the WWII Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives troops in protecting, preserving and restituting looted art. [bio]
  • András J. Riedlmayer, Harvard University, discussed the destruction of cultural property during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. [bio]
  • Hays Parks, U.S. Department of Defense, discussed the history of and U.S. position toward the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. [bio]
  • Panel Chair: Thomas R. Kline, Attorney, Andrews Kurth LLP and Assistant  Professorial Lecturer, GWU, Museum Studies Program. [bio]

Panel II - Looking Forward: Applying the Lessons Learned.

Round table discussion, followed by questions to members of both panels.

  • Corine Wegener, President, U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield; Associate Curator, Architecture, Design, Decorative Arts, Craft, and Sculpture at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Major (retired) in the U.S. Army Reserve, discussed looting and destruction of cultural property at the Iraq National Museum and recovery efforts and also the role of the Blue Shield in protecting cultural property in future conflicts. [bio]
  • John Russell, Professor, Massachusetts College of Art, and former Senior Advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, Coalition Provisional Authority, discussed damage done to cultural heritage during the Iraq War and efforts toward cooperation between the U.S. military and cultural heritage professionals of different nationalities. [bio]
  • Richard Jackson, Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate General for Law of War Matters and Army Colonel (Ret.), discussed current attitudes of the U.S. military toward the Hague Convention and obligations to preserve cultural heritage during armed conflict. [bio]
  • Panel Chair: Patty Gerstenblith, Professor, DePaul College of Law, and President, Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation. [bio]

For further information about the Conference, click here.

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