David Burrowes, MP for Enfield Southgate and co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cultural Heritage, welcomed the Government’s commitment to protect cultural property in times of conflict.
The Cultural Property Bill will ratify the Hague Convention of 1954 and bring the UK in line with 172 others who have already made the commitment to protect cultural property in war-torn lands.
Mr Burrowes was congratulated by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for his ‘passionate advocacy’ in championing the legislation.
Mr Burrowes said:
“I am concerned, as doubtless we all are, about human dignity. That is what gets my passions and convictions going. It is important to see the appropriate link between the trafficking of human beings and the trafficking of cultural property. There is the same disregard for people, for their faith, for their community and for their identity”
Mr Burrowes made specific mention of the destruction of such cultural property in Cyprus and called on the UK Government to ensure that “appalling acts of desecration and pillaging” be properly taken account of.
The debate also covered the acts of Daesh, and after Mr Burrowes sought assurances that the lootings of Daesh come within the scope of the Bill, the Secretary of State agreed that great care should be taken in handling Daesh’s standing in international legal circles.
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