UNESCO.ORG The Organization Education Natural Sciences Social Sciences Culture Communication & Information
    Crisis in Iraq
       Activities 1976- 2002 
       Post-conflict activities 
       Projects awaiting financial support 
       Ongoing projects 
       Projects completed 

 Printer friendly version
Home > Crisis in Iraq > International legal instruments 
International legal instruments 

4. What international instruments exist to protect the cultural heritage? 


UNESCO’s cultural action to protect monuments and sites and prevent illicit traffic rests on a specific legal foundation.

This includes the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, with its two Protocols of 1954 and 1999, the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

The UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects completed this legal framework in 1995.

In 1999 UNESCO went on to launch an international fund for the return and restitution of cultural property.