Cultural property is always damaged, and frequently destroyed, during armed conflict. Mostly this is ‘collateral’ (i.e., not intentional) damage, but not-infrequently the damage and destruction are targeted and intentional. This contribution discusses the work of the international NGO the Blue Shield and its work to mitigate such damage and destruction during armed conflict and following natural and/or human-made disaster. While the Blue Shield always prioritises the protection of people, it argues that the protection of an individual’s or community’s cultural property is almost indivisible from their own protection as it provides them with a sense of place, identity, and belonging, and through these, wellbeing, giving people a reason for living. It argues that action can be taken through partnership between the heritage, humanitarian, and uniformed sectors to help develop healthy, peaceful, secure, sustainable, communities.
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