Cultural heritage, if considered in a multilevel dimension, represents the essence of a population. Attacks against tangible cultural heritage can amount to persecution or ethnic cleansing if committed with a discriminatory intent. For their nature, such attacks are often accompanied by destruction of intangible cultural heritage targeting the language, the traditions and the uses of a people. They cause, alongside tremendous losses of something unique and irreplaceable, psychological damages to the communities linked to them. An episode of cultural cleansing like the removal of communities by eradicating their cultural presence on a land encompasses also deliberate attacks against cultural property. International criminal law qualifies the phenomena as crimes against humanity, giving them additionally relevance in the reconstruction of the mens rea of genocide. The article will focus on how to prosecute attacks against cultural heritage in international criminal law as a crime against humanity or as genocide, dealing specifically with the crime of persecution and the concept of cultural genocide under international criminal law. At the end, a brief assessment on the crimes committed in Syria against ethnic minorities under the aforementioned categories will be provided.

francesca sironi de gregorio (2020). Attacking cultural property to destroy a community: heritage destruction as a crime against humanity and genocide. RIVISTA SEMESTRALE DI DIRITTO(1), 269-300.

Attacking cultural property to destroy a community: heritage destruction as a crime against humanity and genocide

francesca sironi de gregorio
2020-04

Abstract

Cultural heritage, if considered in a multilevel dimension, represents the essence of a population. Attacks against tangible cultural heritage can amount to persecution or ethnic cleansing if committed with a discriminatory intent. For their nature, such attacks are often accompanied by destruction of intangible cultural heritage targeting the language, the traditions and the uses of a people. They cause, alongside tremendous losses of something unique and irreplaceable, psychological damages to the communities linked to them. An episode of cultural cleansing like the removal of communities by eradicating their cultural presence on a land encompasses also deliberate attacks against cultural property. International criminal law qualifies the phenomena as crimes against humanity, giving them additionally relevance in the reconstruction of the mens rea of genocide. The article will focus on how to prosecute attacks against cultural heritage in international criminal law as a crime against humanity or as genocide, dealing specifically with the crime of persecution and the concept of cultural genocide under international criminal law. At the end, a brief assessment on the crimes committed in Syria against ethnic minorities under the aforementioned categories will be provided.
Settore IUS/13 - Diritto Internazionale
francesca sironi de gregorio (2020). Attacking cultural property to destroy a community: heritage destruction as a crime against humanity and genocide. RIVISTA SEMESTRALE DI DIRITTO(1), 269-300.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/566223
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