As part of the popularization and promotion of the 1954 Hague Convention, the Polish Committee of the Blue Shield co-organized with the Polish Advisory Committee, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Ministry of National Defense, the University of Warsaw – the Faculty of Law and Administration and the Fryderyk Chopin Institute a conference entitled “Protection of cultural heritage in armed conflicts – law and practice. 65 years of the Hague Convention and 20 years of the Second Protocol” in Warsaw on October 23, 2019.
The conference, which is a cyclical event, aims to disseminate the provisions of international law in the field of protection of cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict in various environments, raise the level of knowledge of those responsible for carrying out these tasks in cultural institutions, as well as to encourage the academic community to scientific activity in the field of cultural heritage protection.
During this year’s conference topics presented included heritage protection issues in the context of new technological threats and hybrid wars; there was a debate on the contemporary interpretation of the definition of “cultural heritage” and the Warsaw Recommendation was discussed pointing to its indisputable role as a new instrument in the reconstruction of historic centers after the war damage. Krzysztof Sałaciński, president of the Polish Blue Shield Committee, presented a paper on the role of the Blue Shield Poland in the dissemination of principles of protection of cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict.
The conference was attended by persons responsible for the security of collections in museums, libraries, archives, cultural institutions, as well as representatives of the Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments carrying out tasks in the event of armed conflict and crisis situations, employees of security and crisis management offices of public administration, employees and students of faculties of law, political science and international universities, legal advisers from organizational units of the Ministry of National Defense, professional soldiers serving as part-time specialists for the protection of cultural heritage, and volunteers carrying out tasks in the area of cultural heritage protection.
On the same day, Decision No. 166 / MON of October 22, 2019 regarding the establishment of the International Center for Training and Research on Culture Heritage in Danger was published.
The Center is a joint project of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Ministry of National Defense. The cooperation agreement for the establishment of the International Center was prepared in cooperation with the President of the Polish Blue Shield Committee Mr. Krzysztof Sałaciński and was signed on July 11, 2019. The International Center will be open on May 1, 2020.