Historic Preservation

Posted January 8, 2020
  • Bisotun

    Bisotun, in western Iran’s Kermanshah province, is notable for its inscription carved on a limestone cliff. "It is unique, being the only known monumental text of the Achaemenids to document a specific historic event, that of the re-establishment of the empire by Darius I the Great," according to UNESCO. Image Bisotun AG-ChapelHill, Getty Images/iStockphoto 

The Stuart Weitzman School of Design Statement on the Preservation of Cultural Heritage During Armed Conflict

Graduate Program in Historic Preservation

The material legacy of humankind is our common heritage; it contributes to the identity and inspiration for all humanity.  Protecting and preserving cultural heritage is a core value of all civilized societies, including our own.  Armed conflict, looting, uncontrolled development, and climate change are already taking a toll on this legacy.  As a nation and leader of the free world, we should be working to enhance the protections and safeguarding of world heritage, not threatening destruction.  This has been the wisdom of all civilized nations as set down in the doctrines below and advocated by the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design.


Damage to cultural property belonging to any people whatsoever means damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind - 1954 Hague Convention

Intentionally directed attacks against historical monuments or buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science, and hospitals constitutes a war crime. - ICC, Rome Statue, article 8(2)

Resolution 2347 (2017) adopted by the United Nations Security Council at its 7907th meeting,

The Council…deplores and condemns the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage, inter alia destruction of religious sites and artefacts, as well as the looting and smuggling of cultural property from archaeological sites, museums, libraries, archives, and other sites, in the context of armed conflicts, notably by terrorist groups; 2. Recalls its condemnation of any engagement in direct or indirect trade involving ISIL, Al-Nusra Front (ANF) and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida, and reiterates that such engagement could constitute financial support for entities designated by the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and may lead to further listings by the Committee; 3. Also condemns systematic campaigns of illegal excavation, and looting and pillage of cultural heritage, in particular those committed by ISIL, Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities; 4. Affirms that directing unlawful attacks against sites and buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, or historic monuments may constitute, under certain circumstances and pursuant to international law, a war crime and that perpetrators of such attacks must be brought to justice.