Riccardo Pavoni

Professor at the University of Siena, Italy

Via P.A. Mattioli 10, 53100 Siena
+39 057 723 53 78


Riccardo Pavoni is Professor of International and European Law at the Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza of the University of Siena. In 2014, he was awarded the Italian National Scientific Qualification (Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale) as full professor of International and EU law. He is the associate editor of the Italian Yearbook of International Law and a member of the editorial board of the Oxford Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts. He serves as co-director of the Tulane-Siena Institute for International Law, Cultural Heritage and the Arts. He has been a visiting professor at various institutions, including the Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga (2013), Tulane University School of Law (2010), Charles University in Prague (2008/2010) and the University of Amsterdam (2006).


Heritage Protection in Armed Conflict: Legal and Policy Challenges at a Time of Large-Scale Cultural Crimes

This presentation illustrates the legal and policy challenges confronting the international community in the field of the protection of cultural and natural heritage in armed conflict. The pace and extent of the ongoing cultural crimes in the territory occupied by the IS/ISIL/Daesh is unprecedented. The deliberate destruction of irreplaceable cultural treasures and sites continues abated, as well as the smuggling of antiquities as a modern means of financing the war effort of extremists. Iconoclastic threats of destruction of cultural symbols in the territory of Western countries are frequent. The international community, starting from the UN, can and must do more to fight against this situation. In this context, the adoption of UN Security Council Res. 2199 (12 February 2015) on the prohibition of trade in Iraqi and Syrian cultural property certainly constitutes a significant step.

The prospects for holding accountable the perpetrators of cultural crimes against humanity will be outlined, while suggesting possible legal and policy options for improving the global framework for protecting heritage in times of armed conflict.

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