Briefing the House Human Rights Commission
September 22, 2016
On September 22, 2016 Antiquities Coalition executive director Tess Davis joined a panel for the Senate Human Rights Caucus and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. The panel, titled Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Conflict: Promoting Accountability and the Rule of Law explored the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage as a crime of war and tool of genocide.
Panelists included Patty Gerstenblith, Director, Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law, DePaul University; Helen Malko, Postdoctoral Fellow, Italian Academy for Advanced Studies, Columbia University; Tess Davis, Executive Director, Antiquities Coalition; Anne-Marie Carstens, Researcher, Georgetown University Law Center and moderator Raymond Brown, Co-Founder, International Justice Project.
The destruction of cultural heritage in conflict is an increasingly pressing concern for governments and civil society around the world. In Iraq and Syria, Daesh (also known as ISIS) has targeted and destroyed, in visible and dramatic fashion, structures associated with minority sects of Islam, Christianity, and ancient and traditional cultures. In Mali, a rebel group affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb attacked and destroyed religious sites in the famed city of Timbuktu – and one of the perpetrators of these crimes has pled guilty to the war crime of cultural heritage destruction at the International Criminal Court.