1954 Hague Convention

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History of the 1954 Hague Convention

This international convention 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. Written in the wake of the widespread cultural devastation perpetrated by Nazi Germany during World War II, and modeled on instructions given by General Eisenhower to aid in the preservation of Europe’s cultural legacy, the Hague Convention is the oldest international agreement to address exclusively cultural heritage preservation. The First Protocol was adopted in 1954 with the Convention. The Second Protocol was introduced in 1999 and came into force in 2004.

The Hague Convention covers immovable and movable cultural property, including monuments of architecture, art or history, archaeological sites, works of art, manuscripts, books and other objects of artistic, historical or archaeological interest, as well as scientific collections of all kinds regardless of their origin or ownership.