The cultural heritage reflects the life of the community, its history and its identity. Its preservation helps to rebuild broken communities, re-establish their identities, and link their past with their present and future.
The Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict adopted at The Hague (Netherlands) in 1954, as a consequence to the massive destruction of the cultural heritage in the Second World War, is the first international treaty of a world-wide vocation dedicated exclusively to the protection of cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict.
The Convention was adopted together with a Protocol in order to prevent the export of cultural property from occupied territory, requiring the return of such property to the territory of the State from which it was removed.
The destruction of cultural property in the course of the conflicts that took place at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, highlighted the necessity for a number of improvements to be addressed in the implementation of the Hague Convention. A review of the Convention was initiated in 1991, resulting in the adoption of a Second Protocol to the Hague Convention in March 1999.