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The ‘protect cultural property in times of war’ Bill

Next Discussed




  • To agree to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which places a duty on armed forces not to attack cultural property at home or abroad

  • To introduce the Blue Shield as an emblem that identifies cultural property protected under the Convention

  • To make it an offence to deal in cultural property that has been illegally exported from occupied territory, and require such property to be returned when hostilities have ended


During the Second World War, there was a huge amount of destruction of cultural property, leading to the Convention being established to try to make sure this is not repeated in future conflicts. Cultural property plays a significant role in a country’s history and identity.

This Bill would reinforce the UK’s commitment to protecting cultural property in times of armed conflict and clarify the cultural protection procedures that the Armed Forces follow.


John Whittingdale MP and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are in charge of this Bill.

Other Arguments

| The UK army already avoids damaging cultural sites and monuments in times of war, so some would question the necessity of this Bill.

ISIS have recently carried out acts of destruction against cultural heritage in Iraq, Syria and Libya - these countries have signed up to the Convention but it has not been properly enforced, calling into question its effectiveness.

How to get involved

Speak to your MP.

If I don’t act, will it go through?

As a Government Bill, it is highly likely that it will go through.

Additional Information