Patrimoine culturel de l’humanité


Cultural Heritage - Research Guide International Law

Le patrimoine culturel peut être décrit comme l'héritage culture laissé par les générations précédentes, un héritage que nous souhaitons souvent identifier et préserver parce qu'il renforce notre identité culturelle et notre sentiment d'appartenir à une même communauté. Les communautés et les nations aiment célébrer et préserver leur patrimoine, et les États ont mis en œuvre des mesures de protection des ressources culturelles. Tout au long de l'histoire, l'expression "patrimoine culturel" a revêtu plusieurs significations. Au cours des dernières décennies, la notion de patrimoine culturel - comme celui de culture - a subi des modifications importantes. Le patrimoine culturel se subdivise en patrimoine culturel matériel et en patrimoine culturel immatériel. Le patrimoine culturel matériel comprend les sites archéologiques, les artefacts, les bâtiments, les sites historiques, les monuments, les tombes, et les paysages culturellement importants, tels les lieux sacrés. Le patrimoine culturel immatériel comprend les langues, les récits oraux, les croyances, pratiques, rituels, cérémonies, coutumes, traditions, musiques, danses, artisanats et autres arts. La notion moderne et actuelle de patrimoine culturel est une notion ouverte qui reflète un peu plus la culture vivante que ce n'était le cas auparavant. Afin de maintenir et de garantir l'existence future des sites du patrimoine culturel mondial, il est absolument vital que les États, les organisations intergouvernementales et les acteurs non gouvernementaux disposent d'un droit du patrimoine mondial. La principale organisation à veiller sur le patrimoine mondial est l'Organisation des Nations-Unies pour l'Éducation, la Science et la Culture. L'Unesco a en charge d'aider les États à développer des instruments juridiques pour assurer une meilleure protection du patrimoine mondial et à moderniser et réformer leurs politiques culturelles.

Le présent guide de recherche se veut un point de départ pour mener des recherches relatives au patrimoine mondial. Il fournit les textes juridiques de base disponibles à la Bibliothèque du Palais de la Paix, qu'il s'agisse de documents imprimés ou de documents sous format électronique. La section intitulée "Bibliographie sélective" présente une sélection de manuels, d'articles importants, de bibliographies, de publications périodiques, de publications en série et de documents pertinents. Des liens permettent de rejoindre le catalogue PPL. Le mot-matière de la bibliothèque (mot-clef) Patrimoine culturel est un instrument de recherche dans le catalogue. Une attention particulière est prêtée à nos inscriptions aux bases de données, revues électroniques, livres électroniques et autres ressources électroniques. Enfin, le présent guide de recherche contient des liens vers des sites Internet pertinents et d'autres ressources en ligne présentant un intérêt particulier.


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Periodicals, serial publications


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  • Xanthaki, A. (et al.) (eds.), Indigenous Peoples' Cultural Heritage : Rights, Debates, Challenges, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2017

    Xanthaki, A. (et al., eds.), Indigenous Peoples' Cultural Heritage : Rights, Debates, Challenges, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2017

    Indigenous rights to heritage have only recently become the subject of academic scholarship. This collection aims to fill that gap by offering the fruits of a unique conference on this topic organised by the University of Lapland with the help of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The conference made clear that important information on Indigenous cultural heritage has remained unexplored or has not been adequately linked with specific actors (such as WIPO) or specific issues (such as free, prior and informed consent). Indigenous leaders explained the impact that disrespect of their cultural heritage has had on their identity, well-being and development. Experts in social sciences explained the intricacies of indigenous cultural heritage. Human rights scholars talked about the inability of current international law to fully address the injustices towards indigenous communities. Representatives of International organisations discussed new positive developments. This wealth of experiences, materials, ideas and knowledge is contained in this important volume.

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  • Hutt, S. (et al.), Cultural Property Law: A Practitioner's Guide to the Management, Protection, and Preservation of Heritage Resources (2nd ed.), Chicago, Il., American Bar Association, 2017.

    Hutt, S. (et al.), Cultural Property Law: A Practitioner's Guide to the Management, Protection, and Preservation of Heritage Resources (2nd ed.), Chicago, Il., American Bar Association, 2017.

    Crossing into many disciplines, cultural property law continues to grow as an established area of practice and study. Now completely updated, this book provides an accessible and objective overview of all major components of an interdisciplinary legal practice that extends from government and tribal management of land to federal underwater resource management to the national and international laws governing museums and the arts marketplace. This practical, balanced, and clearly written guide: (i) identifies the components of the area of practice, offering a guide to their application in legal practice; (ii) follows the primary practice areas in the field, highlighting the laws and controlling cases that apply to the practice area identified in each chapter; (iii) provides frequently asked questions for each area of practice; and (iv) covers recent cases, regulations, and laws in the field, as well as a discussion of evolving legal concepts and an expanded treatment of emerging areas of law.

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  • Silverman, H. (et al.) (eds.), Heritage in Action: Making the Past in the Present, Cham, Springer, 2017.

    Silverman, H. (et al.)(eds.), Heritage in Action: Making the Past in the Present, Cham, Springer, 2017.

    Cultural heritage is a process, a discourse, a political reality, an economic opportunity, and a social arena as well as sites, objects, and performances. As such heritage “does work.” And as work cultural heritage is a cultural tool that is deployed broadly in society today. Heritage is at work in indigenous and vernacular communities, in urban development and regeneration schemes, in acts of memorialization and counteracts of forgetting, in museums and other spaces of representation, in tourism, in the offices of those making public policy, and all too frequently in conflicts over identity. Thus, heritage is not an inert something to be looked at. Rather, heritage is always in action, bringing the past into the present through historical contingency and manifold strategic appropriations and deployments. This volume emphasizes the active nature of heritage-making, hence heritage in action. The unifying theme of this volume is the way that heritage is active in enabling people to find ways to connect and reconnect with the idea of the past, with places, objects, and events acting as vectors and foci of meaning and activity. We attend to the individuals and communities that mobilize cultural heritage for a range of reasons and through a panoply of actions. We point towards a new, albeit imperfect, practical agenda for heritage in action.

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  • Lostal, M., International Cultural Heritage Law in Armed Conflict: Case Studies of Syria, Libya, Mali, the Invasion of Iraq, and the Buddhas of Bamiyan, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2017.

    Lostal, M., International Cultural Heritage Law in Armed Conflict: Case Studies of Syria, Libya, Mali, the Invasion of Iraq, and the Buddhas of Bamiyan, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2017.

    This book fills gaps in the exploration of the protection of cultural heritage in armed conflict based on the World Heritage Convention. Marina Lostal offers a new perspective, designating a specific protection regime to world cultural heritage sites, which is so far lacking despite the fact that such sites are increasingly targeted. Lostal spells out this area's discrete legal principles, providing accessible and succinct guidelines to a usually complex web of international conventions. Using the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Mali (among others) as case studies, she offers timely insight into the phenomenon of cultural heritage destruction. Lastly, by incorporating the World Heritage Convention into the discourse, this book fulfills UNESCO's long-standing project of exploring 'how to promote the systemic integration between the [World Heritage] Convention of 1972 and the other UNESCO regimes'. It is sure to engender debate and cause reflection over cultural heritage and protection regimes.

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  • Looted Ethiopian Treasure

    On April 13, it was the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Maqdala between the British empire and the Abyssinian empire, in modern day Ethiopia. The battle of 1868, which basically started as an expedition to free British hostages taken by the Abyssinian emperor, resulted in a decisive victory for the British and the suicide of the Abyssinian emperor Tewodros. In the aftermath, the British troops plundered the empire and loaded 15 elephants and almost 200 mules with their spoils. The Victoria and Albert Museum now hosts a special display with a number of the artifacts. This exposition raises the issue of the restitution of the looted artifacts to Ethiopia.

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  • Mali War Crimes Suspect Mr. Al Hassan Makes Initial Appearance Before the ICC

    After the Al Mahdi case, a landmark trial, a second case has been referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Timbuktu, Mali between 2012 and 2013. Another Malian national, 40-year-old Mr Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud, faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has been accused of destroying holy places, mausoleums of Muslim saints in Timbuktu and of enforcing a policy of forced marriage which had led to sexual slavery and rape of women and girls. The alleged crimes were committed between 2012 and 2013 when Timbuktu was under the control of militant islamists. From April 2012 until January 2013, Mr Al Hassan was head of the Islamic Police.

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  • Hide & Seek in the Art World

    When we look at a piece of art, we enter the secret world of art. When we buy a piece of art, we enter the secret world of the art market. When anonymity in the art market is about protecting privacy, it’s a legitimate ground for secrecy. When secrecy paints a picture of a thinly regulated art trade where anonymity is used as playground to shield all kinds of doubtful behaviour and ownership, it is questionable. Law firms play a crucial role in this questionable secrecy in art market. Those law firms service their clients by incorporating and operating shell companies in ‘friendly’ jurisdictions and perform money laundering services as their core business. Law firms boost their client’s assets and inject them into the legal economy, through different money laundering schemes.

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  • The Destruction of the Cathedral of Reims, 1914

    On 20 September 1914, German shellfire burned, damaged and destroyed important parts of the magnificent Cathedral of Reims. The destruction of the Cathedral was generally regarded as an act of sheer vandalism. At the time, it was generally admitted by writers on international law that if the military commander of a besieged place used a church or other building whose immunity had been established, as a stronghold, a storehouse, or an observatory, the besieger might bombard the site without being held responsible for damages caused in consequence of their proximity to other buildings which are liable to bombardment. Even the French war manual itself admitted this.

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  • 60th Anniversary of the UNESCO 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Event of an Armed Conflict

    The 1954 Convention is the basic international treaty formulating rules to protect cultural heritage during armed conflicts. It regulates the conduct of nations during war and military occupation in order to assure the protection of cultural sites, monuments and repositories, including museums, libraries and archives. A Round table meeting in the Peace Palace is organized on Monday, 12 May 2014.

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  • Exhibition of the Roerich Pact: History and Modernity

    On 15 april 2014 the exhibition about the “Roerich Pact: History and Modernity” was officially opened at the Academy building of the Peace Palace. The exhibition is part of a world wide project of the International Centre of the Roerichs and the International Roerich’s Heritage Preservation to promote the Roerich Pact. Exactly 79 years ago, the Roerich Pact was signed in Washington by the representatives of 21 member-states of the Pan-American Union including the USA.

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  • Article 247 of the Treaty of Versailles and the “Mystic Lamb”

    The ‘biography’ of the Ghent Altarpiece, also called the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, reads like a thriller. From the beginning this fascinating work was the object of passionate desire to either possess or destroy it. During the centuries of its existence, the altarpiece witnessed religious upheavals in the Southern Netherlands, came close to being destroyed during these outbreaks of iconoclasm and was damaged when moved to save guard it or when stolen. It endured fires, Napoleon’s looting army and two world wars. Parts of it were stolen, burned, recovered and stolen again and again.

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  • Crimes against Cultural Property in Mali

    In an earlier Peace Palace Library blog (Cultucide in Timbuktu: Shari’a and war crimes) Ingrid Kost wrote that the Islamist Group Ansar (Ed)dine (“Defenders of the Faith”) destroyed some of the age-old mausolea of Sufi Saints in Timbuktu, Mali. One of the major causes of destruction of cultural property (the illicit trading, stealing and looting of cultural property is not covered in this blog) over the ages has been armed conflict. Crimes against cultural property should therefore be addressed properly.

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  • Cultural Property: Art Crimes, Disputes and the Passage of Time

    On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Dutch Restitutions Committee, an International Symposium titled ‘Fair and Just Solutions? Alternatives to Litigation in Nazi-looted Art Disputes, Status Quo And New Developments’ was held in the Academy Building of the Peace Palace on November 27, 2012.

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  • Cultucide in Timbuktu: Shari’a and War Crimes

    Last weekend the Islamist Group Ansar Eddine (“Defenders of the Faith”) destroyed some of the age-old mausolea of Sufi Saints in Timbuktu. Despite the fact that recently on June 28 2012, these mausolea were placed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger.

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  • Doves, Swords, Scales and …

    Doves, scales, olive branches, swords and many ladies justice in paintings, sculptures, tiles and panels adorn the halls of the Peace Palace. These symbols of peace emphasize the essence of the foundation of the building and the institutions it houses. A very fine example is the painting by Albert Besnard (1849-1934): La Paix et la Justice, 1914.

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See also

More Research guides on Droit international public (sujets spéciaux)