Natural catastrophes, climate change and human-made disasters endanger not only our lives, but also cause damages to cultural properties or even lead to the permanent loss of our cultural heritage. Therefore, the safeguarding and protection of cultural goods require an efficient management and appropriate protection measures. Strategies to prevent risks, mitigate damages and to reduce adverse impacts after disasters are of utmost importance.
The Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague 1954) and its two Protocols constitute the legal framework to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts on the cultural heritage. However, these instruments, being recognised as fundamental part of public international law, are not only applicable during armed conflicts, but set already widely accepted standards for the protection of cultural property during peace time.
Our Key Competences
The Center for Cultural Property applies a broad, coherent and practise-related approach. The legal stipulations in the fields of international and national law will be assessed and implemented following practical needs. Thanks to the close cooperation with the Center for Architectural Heritage and Infrastructure at the Department for Building and Environment the specific requirements and needs for cultural property in general and for UNESCO-World Heritage sites in particular can be met. The practical implementation of the cultural property protection will be assured through an efficient and meanwhile global network. The Center maintains close relations with the CPP-units of the Austrian Armed Forces, with the European Research Centre for Book and Paper Conservation-Restoration, with museums, archives and libraries. Regular exchange of knowledge and experiences with NGOs, public institutions, UNESCO and with representatives of emergency-units assures a practical-related implementation. The team of the CPP-Center provides expertise and supports private entities, public institutions as well as international organisations through studies, legal assessments and it contributes regularly to conferences.
The Center organises lectures, master courses as well as summer-universities. These events do not only promote the protection of cultural property through disaster-management, but also contribute to the international dialogue among scholars, students and experts.