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10 From Crimes against Art to Crimes against Cultural Property: New Perspectives and Dimensions in Art Crime

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on cultural property crimes in the context of conflict and intermingled identity aspects. It should be noted that in the last decades there have been important developments concerning the nature and format of armed conflicts, the nature and shifting status of cultural property, and the legal aspects that constitute national and international frameworks that restrain abuse and destruction of cultural property. The term "art crime" is well known, but it does not cover today's situation and perception. Iconoclasm is an atypical example of misconduct in the event of conflict that can be difficult to prosecute under legislation designed for the protection of cultural property in the event of conflict. Egyptian national heritage is currently being destroyed in plain view, both by looters and by illegal construction. Military necessity can be a legitimization for official military conflict parties to attack or damage cultural property.

Keywords: armed conflicts; art crime; cultural property crimes; Egyptian national heritage; iconoclasm; legitimization



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