Heritage protection with global reach

Heritage protection with global reach

For the third time, representatives from Blue Shield International supported cultural property protection courses with the Multinational Peace Support Operations Training Centre (MPSOTC), and the OSCE Heritage Crime Task Force workshop. 

Blue Shield began with support to the NATO affiliated Multinational Peace Support Operations Training Centre (MPSOTC) in Kilkis, Greece from 04-08 September at the Cultural Property Protection (CPP) course for peacekeepers. A representative presented on the importance of CPP to Peace Support Operations and led an exercise that emphasised the complexity, but significant importance of, CPP for such peace support operations. The Greek National Committee also attended and presented on the ReInherit Project.

The ReInHerit project is a Horizon2020 Project that aspires to disrupt the current status quo of communication, collaboration and innovation exchange between museums and cultural heritage sites, in a sense that it will connect cultural heritage collections and sites, and present Europe’s tangible and intangible heritage to citizens and tourists in their wider historical and geographical contexts. The ReInHerit project is proposing an innovative model of sustainable heritage management, through which a dynamic network will be born; this network comprises cultural heritage professionals, innovation and cultural heritage solution tech experts, researchers, national museums, regional and local museums, and representative managers of Heritage Label sites. 

The course aims to allow the participants to obtain knowledge and practical skills in order to be capable to address and enhance the Cultural Property Protection topic. Core frameworks included the contemporary security environment, legal framework, transnational organized crime, terrorism, artifact smuggling and international cooperation to enable the participants to achieve a holistic approach and engage with the root causes of the phenomenon.

Participants from Germany, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lithuania, the USA, and Zambia all worked together to explore the value of CPP to their potential deployments and brought fascinating local slants to the generic exercise scenario.

A great few days with some really committed students participating in an excellent course - as always expertly organised by the MPSOTC team.

Man stands at the front of a lecture theatre with an image of the Blue Shield on a screen behind him. The seats have people in military uniforms, listening
Professor Peter Stone, President of the Blue Shield, presenting at the MPSOTC . © MPSOTC 2023
Woman stands at the front of a lecture theatre with an image of the Blue Shield on a screen behind him. The seats have people in military uniforms, listening
Elena Korkis, Chair of Blue Shield Greece, presenting at the MPSOTC . © MPSOTC 2023

It was followed by the third OSCE Transnational Threats Department workshop on the illicit trafficking in cultural property for frontline police and border officers in Pula, Croatia from 11 to 15 September. The training course was held for law enforcement, border management officers, and museum experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.

Blue Shield International was excited to support the course alongside the experts of the OSCE Heritage Crime Task Force and their partners which include: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Spain’s Guardia Civil, Italy’s Arma dei Carabinieri, Finland’s TULLI (Customs), France’s Douanes et Droits Indirects (Customs) and France’s Armée de Terre, the International Council of Museums (ICOM), Cranfield University Forensic Training Institute, the Victoria and Albert Museum and other subject specialists. The course uses scenario-based, simulation training exercises, including fictional art crimes and trafficking cases to highlight the latest investigative technologies and tools, and the importance of building cross-border partnerships.

Both courses have a real positive impact. They focus on engaging not only states, but those on the front line dealing with these problems to provide them with the tools to protect cultural property in their daily work and into the future, and building crucial networks. This approach is critical to realising successful cultural property protection.


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