USCBS is dedicated to the prevention of destruction and theft of cultural property, as at this archaeological site in Iraq.
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Photo © John Malcolm Russell
As early as the 2nd century BC, we know that authors were criticizing the wartime plundering of art. And, in more recent times, many laws and treaties have been written to protect and preserve cultural property. For instance, the Lieber Code of 1863, commissioned during the Civil War by President Abraham Lincoln, was the first legislation to explicitly call for the protection of cultural property during times of armed conflict. And, in 1954, The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in Times of Armed Conflict and its First Protocol were adopted after a meeting of representatives of the United Nations, under the auspices of UNESCO.
We coordinate with the U.S. military, U.S. government,
and other cultural property organizations to protect cultural property worldwide during armed conflict.
We strive to raise
public awareness about the importance of cultural property as the shared right of all humankind.
We advise and assist, worldwide, in the protection of cultural property damaged or threatened by armed conflict or natural disasters and provide emergency planning.