War time pains, all time pains : spoilage of cultural property in Mali
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Art antiquity and law, Vol. 18, issue 4, December 2013, p. 309-321
Afolasade Abidemi Adewumi
This article, which is both descriptive, explores some of the issues arising from cultural heritage law, in particular as they affect destruction of cultural property in war-torn Mali. It argues that for sustainability of cultural heritage and the prevention of the loss of identity and the wiping out of a people’s memory, nation States should become party to the 1954 Convention and its Protocols. It also argues that the fact that a State is party to the 1954 Convention does not guarantee the automatic application of the provisions of the 1999 Second Protocol to the Convention in the territory of that nation State. To enjoy the benefits of the Second Protocol, the State Party must first be party to the 1954 Convention and then to the Second Protocol. The underlying premise of this article is that only a near-universal ratification of the 1954 Convention and its Protocol II, coupled with efficient enforcement mechanisms at the domestic level and a historical conscience imbibed by people will guarantee sustainability of cultural heritage against hostilities during armed conflict.