From 17–19 August 2016 the 3rd Advanced Research Workshop on “Best Practices for Cultural Property Protection in NATO-led Missions” took place at the Danube University Krems. The project itself is funded by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme and conducted by a team of four programme Co-Directors, Dr. Frederik Rosén (Danish Institute for International Studies), Dr. Laurie Rush (US Army Fort Drum), LTC Hazim Hodzic (Ministry of Defence, Bosnia-Herzegovina) and Dr. Richard Osgood (Ministry of Defence, UK).
After the first two workshops held in Sarajevo (2015) and Torino (2016), the Center for Cultural Property Protection (CPP) of Danube University Krems was chosen as venue for the workshop dedicated to education and training on the topic of Cultural Property Protection. During the 2.5 days 13 participants from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Italy, the Netherlands, UK, USA, NATO itself, and Austria discussed different possibilities for training soldiers in Cultural Property related topics before their deployment to an area of operation. Amongst the highlights of the workshop were a video game on CPP, “Cultural Recon” (check YouTube for a trailer), a short and comprehensive fact sheet, listing in brief terms dos and don’ts when in touch with any cultural property, and an educational handbook interspersed with examples on CPP from recent military missions. A fieldtrip to the Austrian Army’s Allentsteig-Training Area, during which the participants were tasked with a CPP mission in the ruins of one of the abandoned villages there rounded up the trip. The Austrian Armed Forces (National Defence Academy, Military Academy, Military Command of Lower Austria) graciously contributed their expertise to the workshop, as did the Federal Monuments Office, which made sure that the international participants got a glimpse of the beautifully preserved gothic frescoes in the Gozzoburg in Krems.
The next workshop in this project will take place in New York this month and deal with GIS data and their immense necessity in the field of CPP. The project itself will be concluded with a final presentation of the outcomes this fall.