Protecting Cultural Objects

PART ONE: BACKGROUND
The Objectives of This Project
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Poster produced by UNESCO to raise awareness of the threat posed by looting to the world's archaeological sites. It asks the public not to give help to looters nor to purchase objects which have been illegally exported, and calls for the protection of cultural heritage in all countries (reproduced by courtesy of UNESCO).

The Objectives of This Project
In March 1993, AHIP interviewed representatives of a number of leading national and international umbrella agencies and government bodies in order to gain an understanding of the role played by documentation in the protection of cultural objects. There was broad agreement among the interviewees on the benefits of collectively addressing issues relating to documentation practices and the implementation of international standards. In July of that year AHIP convened a meeting in Paris to discuss the possibility of developing an international collaborative project to define documentation standards for the identification of cultural objects. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the International Council of Museums, INTERPOL, UNESCO, and the U.S. Information Agency. The participants agreed that there was a need for such an initiative and recommended that t should focus on the core information needed to identify cultural objects, and on the mech-anisms for encouraging implementation. As a result of these consultations and discussions a three-year project was defined and initiated, the primary objectives of which are:

From the outset this has been a collaborative project involving the participation of a number of key organizations at both the national and the international level. As suggested earlier, five principal "communities" of interest play a role in the recovering of lost or stolen cultural objects: Building a broad consensus across these communities is an essential precondition to a successful outcome for this initiative, for it is only by understanding and responding to their individual needs that a universally applicable and workable standard can be developed.

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