The rise of safe havens for threatened cultural heritage

Nikolaus Thaddaus Paumgartner, Raphael Zingg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In light of the recent rise of destruction and looting of cultural property, a need for formalized heritage protection has arisen. Increasingly popular in the debate has become the instrument of international assistance known as safe havens. These temporary refuges for at-risk cultural goods in a third country have recently been implemented by Switzerland, France, the United States, and the Association of Art Museum Directors. We assess the contributions and shortcomings of these four regimes using a comparative approach. Mainly, we find that, despite variations in their scope and structure, none of the models accounts entirely for today's major difficulties in protecting endangered cultural properties. We draw recommendations for future safe haven states against the backdrop of the existing models and hope to see the instrument used in practice as a way to safely isolate cultural property from destructive conflicts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-346
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Property
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 1


  • Comparative law
  • Cultural heritage protection
  • Safe havens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Museology


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