Front cover of spring 2020 issue of Archaeology Ireland

Towards a Monument’s Men Unit? The Irish Defence forces welcome the first training to protect Archaeology and Cultural Property.
Patrizia La Piscopia

In the last few years, as an organisation the Blue Shield has worked tirelessly, both at national and international level, to promote the principles of the 1954 Hague Convention. One might say that ratification of the Convention is a crucial step to assure protection of heritage, but it should also be seen as the beginning of a much broader commitment for all State Parties and their national defence forces.

This paper starts from afar, by briefly describing the way in which the Allies tackled the issue of Cultural Property Protection (CPP) during WWII and it uses the example of the Monument’s Men unit to discuss the latest development of Cultural Property Protection in the Republic of Ireland.

The author describes how, recently, the Irish National Committee of the Blue Shield has played a pivotal role in endorsing the ratification of the Convention, and presents the efforts made, as soon as domestic legislation was passed, to promote full implementation of the Convention. At the core of the discussion is the description of the first CPP training ever organised for the Irish Defence Forces and the consideration of its importance at local and global level.

This article is available in Archaeology Ireland Spring edition 2020 Vol,34, No1, Issue No. 131