Since May this year I am involved with the Centre for Global Heritage and Development to investigate the feasibility of a Summer School on the topic of ‘Heritage under Threat’ from the perspective of (international) law, governance and ethics. I became familiar with the Centre for Global Heritage and Development due to my work as a legal researcher on Cultural Heritage and Human Rights at the Peace Palace Library in the Hague and my studies in International Law & Cultural Heritage at the University of Glasgow.
A Summer School on ‘Heritage under Threat: International Law & Ethics’ will enable participants to get acquainted with the international legal and ethical framework for heritage protection and as well as legal cases dealing with cultural heritage. Knowledge of International Law and Ethics regarding cultural heritage is essential for understanding the many tensions and issues involved in heritage under threat today.
Dialogue with high level professionals in the field of international law and cultural heritage reveals that access to and the enjoyment of cultural heritage is a human right recorded in international jurisprudence and that cultural heritage is also a fundamental resource for other human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
I hope that the feasibility research will lead to the establishment of this summer school with relevant stakeholders, and in this way contribute to the protection of cultural heritage. By neglecting, or worse destroying a part of the cultural footprints of our ancestors will bear important consequences for us and those of generations to come.