9. jul, 2015

Special Course in Whitehall London on cultural property protection in times of conflict

Islamic Manuscript Collections in Conflict Zones: Safeguarding Written Heritage

5–7 October 2015, Royal United Services Institute, London, UK

The Islamic Manuscript Association in partnership with the Royal United Services Institute is pleased to announce a short course entitled Islamic Manuscript Collections in Conflict Zones: Safeguarding Written Heritage, which will be hosted by the Royal United Services Institute at its premises in Whitehall, London on 5–7 October 2015.

Presented with the support of the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and Harvard University, this intensive three-day programme will introduce the concepts and mechanisms that underpin cultural property protection in the present day and educate participants in best practices of managing, protecting, and preserving manuscript collections at risk. Case studies will examine incidents of manuscript and book destruction in Bosnia, Iraq, Libya, and Mali, while presentations and roundtables will survey the legal aspects of and military involvement in cultural property protection, the destruction of memory, and the way forward. Topics covered will include the 1954 Hague Convention; military operational planning processes; prosecuting cultural property crimes; developing and implementing no-strike lists; iconoclasm and the erasure of cultural memory; and looting and the trafficking of cultural artefacts.

The course is co-directed by Lt. Col. (retired) Dr Joris D. Kila, Chairman, International Military Cultural Resources Working Group and Senior Researcher, Centre for Cultural Heritage Protection, University of Vienna. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Joris Kila, Chairman, International Military Cultural Resources Working Group
  • Mr Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen, President of the Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield
  • Professor Roger O’Keefe, Chair of Public International Law, University College London
  • Mr András Riedlmayer, Bibliographer in Islamic Art and Architecture, Harvard University
  • Dr James Zeidler, Associate Director for Cultural Resources, Colorado State University
  • Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan 
  • Dr Hafed Walda, the pending Deputy Ambassador to the permanent Libyan delegation at UNESCO
  • Professor Franck Salameh, Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Boston College
  • Mr Marco Di Bella, Freelance Book and Manuscript Conservator and UNESCO Consultant
  • Dr Christos Tsirogiannis, Research Assistant, Trafficking Culture Team, University of Glasgow 

The course is limited to twenty-five persons. All instruction will be in English. A certificate of attendance will be presented on completion of the course. To register your interest, please fill the application form. see :