Cultural Heritage and Preservation: Lessons from World War II and the Contemporary Conflict in the Middle East

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The collective efforts of librarians, politicians, scholars, and ordinary citizens to resist the Third Reich's broad-scale acquisition and destruction of European cultural heritage is an object lesson for contemporary disaster management in wartime, both in its power to remind librarians and others of the persistence of archival looting and destruction as a tactic of cultural dominance and to provide models for contemporary practices by which such losses can be prevented. A review of cultural preservation efforts during World War II illustrates the value of collaborative prevention, preservation, and recovery strategies. This article examines cultural preservation efforts during recent conflicts in the Middle East against this backdrop. It argues that the cultural heritage of humanity threatened during times of conflict or war can be preserved if professionals in the field and other groups, such as governmental and nongovernmental authorities, scholars, and citizens, cooperate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-338
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican Archivist
Volume79
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Keywords

  • Conflict zone
  • Cultural heritage
  • Destruction of cultural heritage
  • International cooperation
  • Middle East
  • Monument Men
  • Preservation
  • Syria
  • World War II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Library and Information Sciences

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