Chapter 5: The criminalization and prosecution of attacks against cultural property
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Within the field of international humanitarian law (IHL) the term ‘cultural property’ designates a distinct category of property to which special protection is granted in both international and non-international armed conflicts. This form of protection supplements the ‘general’ protection that applies to civilian objects and covers destruction, willful damage and all forms of misappropriation. A number of IHL conventions protecting civilian property that could also be classified as cultural property were already applicable during the first half of the twentieth century, such that some instances of illegal attacks on protected objects could have been prosecuted in the aftermath of World War II.

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