On 23-24 November 2023, an extensive, high-ranking International Conference on Cultural Property Protection was organised by the Hungarian National Museum at the premises of the museum in Budapest welcoming speakers and participants from various European organisations and institutions as well as from the United States and the Near East. The Center for Cultural Property Protection of the University for Continuing Education Krems was also invited to the event and asked to give a presentation on the work and the mission of the Center.
In the framework of the conference which provided an excellent platform of exchange for the participating experts, various topics in connection with Cultural Property Protection (CPP) were addressed in six sessions and three panel discussions. The intensive conference programme covered diverse aspects ranging from the challenges in museum security, disaster risk management of cultural heritage and post conflict recovery, to the involvement of military in CPP and law enforcement. In the panel discussion, experts from the relevant fields debated on the CPP-situation in Syria, on peacebuilding and its interlinkage to the safeguarding of cultural heritage as well as on the future challenges and opportunities for CPP.
The importance of Cultural Property Protection has increasingly come into public awareness in the recent decades due to a rising number of catastrophic events. The loss or damage of cultural heritage in connection with the armed conflict in Ukraine or also the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage by terrorist groups for propaganda purposes, such as the blasting of the Baal Temple in Palmyra, Syria, by the Islamic State in 2015, have appalled the whole world. Shocking events like these always remind us how important it is to exchange on international level and develop joint approaches and strategies to be able, in the event of a disaster, to jointly and effectively react to it.