CONF: ‘Art Protection’ in World War I and the Historiographies of Art and Culture in the First Half of the 20th Century. Stakeholders – Networks – Concepts (Collegium Polonicum Słubice, 13-15 May 2024)

Wars spare neither civilians nor cultural values – on the contrary, both are often deliberately targeted and exposed to aggression. The destruction and looting of cultural assets, which are an integral part of national heritage and identity, is an established part of hostile war tactics, used, among other things, to justify territorial expansion. Russia’s current aggression against Ukraine provides an extreme example of this. Such conduct is a clear violation of the provisions of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954, an augmented version of the Hague Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land ratified in 1907. The effectiveness of this first international treaty aimed at protecting cultural property in the event of war was sorely tested a few years later, during the First World War.

The conference aims to examine, in a comparative manner, the strategies and practices of dealing with cultural heritage in the different theatres of the First World War. We want to discuss the preliminary stages and longer-term effects of the concepts developed at the time, as well as the eventual appropriation of cultural assets for the purpose of shaping identities and/or geopolitical goals in the following decades.

For more information and the programme, visit the source of this call in, 09.04.2024: