Public Seminar “Cultural Heritage, Cultural Rights & the European Union” (Warsaw, 13 March 2018) has been awarded the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 (EYCH) label

We are pleased to inform that the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission has awarded the HEURIGHT Public Seminar “Cultural Heritage, Cultural Rights & the European Union” (Warsaw, 13 March 2018; Programme Warsaw-HEURIGHT-13March2018) the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 (EYCH) label. Our initiative has been assessed as contributing to the achievement of one or more of the objectives of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, as endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in Article 2 of the legal decision calling for the EYCH.

Throughout 2018, European societies will celebrate their diverse cultural heritage across Europe – at EU, national, regional and local level. The aim of the EYCH is to encourage more people to discover and engage with Europe’s cultural heritage, and to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space.

The slogan for the year is: “Our heritage: where the past meets the future”.

The EYCH will see a series of initiatives and events across Europe to enable people to become closer to and more involved with their cultural heritage.

For more info consult the EYCH’s online platform and websites of national coordinators.

If you wish to attend our HEURIGHT Public Seminar, please register by March 5, 2018 at


“Cultural Heritage, Cultural Rights and the European Union”, 13 March 2018, Warsaw (Poland) – Programme

On 13 March 2018, the Research Team of the project HEURIGHT – The Right to Cultural Heritage – Its Protection and Enforcement through Cooperation in the European Union is organizing an international seminar, entitled “Cultural Heritage, Cultural Rights and the European Union”. The core aim of this event is to present the research findings of the project and its major outputs. It will also address current legal and policy challenges faced by the European Union in light of the agenda of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

The event will be held at the Institute of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Staszic Palace in Warsaw.

See Programme Warsaw-HEURIGHT-13March2018.

If you wish to attend, please register by March 5, 2018 at



New HEURIGHT publication by Mateusz M. Bieczyński, ‘The Right to Cultural Heritage in the Law of the European Union’

Wolters Kluwer Poland has just published a chapter by Mateusz Bieczyński (from the Polish team), entitled  ‘Prawo do dziedzictwa kulturowego w prawie Unii Europejskiej [The Right to Cultural Heritage in the Law of the European Union]’, in the volume Prawo wobec kultury i sztuki [Law in relation to Culture and the Arts] (Wolters Kluwer 2017), edited by J. Sobczak, K. Chałubińska-Jentkiewicz, K. Kakareko.

The book presents the challenges faced by the legal regulation in the sphere of culture and the arts. The authors raise the issues of ethics, cultural heritage management, cultural policy, digitization and access to cultural heritage, and describe selected more specific problems, such as the promotion of culture and the arts, or taxation of artists.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on cultural heritage after Brexit

Kristin Hausler, a head of the British HEURIGHT team, has just published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on cultural heritage after Brexit, which discusses: the current EU framework for the movement of cultural goods, the benefits of the current system, what happens after Brexit, as well as the potential future arrangements between the UK and the EU. This FAQ is intended to present a very short outline of the main issues relating to cultural heritage post-Brexit, with a particular focus on the movement of cultural goods.

It can be accessed at the BIICL website.

Armed Non-State Actors and Cultural Heritage in Armed Conflict

On 14 December 2017, the International Journal of Cultural Property published an article co-authored by Marina Lostal (Hague University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands), Kristin Hausler (BIICL and a member of the HEURIGHT team) and Pascal Bongard (Head of the Policy and Legal Unit at Geneva Call, Switzerland), entitled “Armed Non-State Actors and Cultural Heritage in Armed Conflict”.


This article presents the preliminary findings of a scoping study that Geneva Call is conducting to understand the existing dynamics between armed non-state actors (ANSAs) and cultural heritage. Geneva Call is a Swiss-based nongovernmental organization dedicated to promoting the respect of international humanitarian law by ANSAs. The study centres on three case studies—Syria, Iraq, and Mali—on which information has been obtained through desk and field research, interviews with ANSAs operating in those countries, and with leading organizations committed to the protection of cultural heritage, globally or regionally. The article first maps the various attitudes of ANSAs toward cultural heritage, highlighting both positive and negative examples from current practices. Then it analyzes the response of specialized organizations to the impact of ANSAs on cultural heritage and their level of engagement with these actors on cultural heritage issues. Finally, the conclusion offers some tentative recommendations to enhance the respect of cultural heritage by ANSAs in non-international armed conflicts.

JPICH Digital Heritage Call: “DigiCONFLICT: Digital Heritage in Cultural Conflicts”

We are delighted to announce that a member of our research team, Professor Ewa Manikowska, has recently been awarded a new grant within the context of the JPI Cultural Heritage, under the JPICH Digital Heritage Call. The project titled “DigiCONFLICT: Digital Heritage in Cultural Conflicts” will be implemented by an international consortium: Project Leader – Dr. G. Pasternak, De Montfort University in Leicester (United Kingdom), Prof. Manikowska, Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland) and Dr. M.T. Tureby, Linköping University (Sweden).

DigiCONFLICT will explore the impact of digital heritage on contemporary engagements with the past in specific national frameworks in Poland, Sweden and Israel. Focusing on oral history, photography and multimedia museums as some of the most common media used to digitalize cultural heritage, the project responds to the Call’s ‘Critical Engagements with Digital Heritage’ trajectory, endeavoring to challenge widespread claims about the universality and democratizing abilities of digital heritage. Even though digital heritage maintains the potential to increase cohesion across nations and social groups, it is equally used to cement elite power structures, define what counts as cultural heritage, and determine whose cultural heritage is worthy of preservation. While acknowledging the role digital heritage plays in shaping and distributing cultural heritage, the project’s point of departure is that digital heritage cannot be considered in separation from historical, cultural and national contexts. The project has three main aims: 1) to explore how national politics affect digital definitions of cultural heritage, 2) to investigate who creates and engages with digital heritage, and how, and 3) to study how the scope and value of cultural heritage are being negotiated and reformulated in a digital context. The consortium will elaborate innovative research approaches to digital heritage through analysis of policy documents related to the case studies, to understand how specific institutions, governments and communities define, mark, and share cultural heritage. To achieve its aims, the consortium will employ interviews with professionals and members of communities who participate in the digitalization of cultural heritage. It will study what parameters affect the creation of digital heritage products, inquire what is gained and lost when cultural heritage becomes digital, and explore who the main beneficiaries are. Findings will mainly be disseminated via scholarly and mainstream publications, workshops, and a dedicated interactive website.

More info about transnational research consortiums which will receive funding in the programme Digital Heritage can be found here.


Individual Responsibility for Deliberate Destruction of Cultural Heritage: Contextualizing the ICC Judgment in the Al-Mahdi Case

On 15 November 2017, the Chinese Journal of International Law published online a study by Karolina Wierczyńska and Andrzej Jakubowski from the Polish research team, entitled “Individual Responsibility for Deliberate Destruction of Cultural Heritage: Contextualizing the ICC Judgment in the Al-Mahdi Case“.



This article analyses how the International Criminal Court dealt, in the case of Al-Mahdi, with the crime of intentional attacks directed against protected cultural heritage sites. The case is discussed in the context of the previous experience and jurisprudence of other international criminal tribunals in prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators of cultural heritage crimes. In this respect, the article examines the complementary function of international criminal justice in relation to the shortcomings of national criminal jurisdictions. It also deals with a set of fundamental issues emerging at the junction of the international protection of cultural heritage and individual criminal responsibility, being the gravity of international crimes; cultural genocide as affecting the identity of a group; and the primary obligation of States to exercise criminal jurisdiction over individuals. The core aim of the article is thus to critically analyse the extent to which the ICC judgment in Al-Mahdi may be seen as a breakthrough towards a more efficient international mechanism for counteracting impunity in crimes against cultural heritage.

Special guest lectures by Charlotte Woodhead, 3 November 2017, University of Warsaw

On 3 November 2017, the Polish team of the Project HEURIGHT had the honour to host special guest lectures by Dr Charlotte Woodhead, from the University of Warwick.  Dr Woodhead’s research interests lie in cultural heritage law. She has studied and written on the restitution and repatriation of objects from museum collections. She has a particular interest in the work of the Spoliation Advisory Panel and the legal and self-imposed moral obligations under which museums act in their dealings with their collections and with the people they serve.

The lectures were addressed to the students of the Master Programme in Art History. Dr Woodhead explained legal, technical and financial difficulties and barriers to restitution of looted or plundered cultural property. In this context, she dealt with the realization of the 1998 Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art in various European jurisdictions. Special focus was given the actual practice of the Spoliation Advisory Panel in the United Kingdom. The Panel provides a mechanism to bring claims to recover cultural objects of which the original owners were dispossessed during the Nazi era. Its paramount purpose is to achieve a fair and just solution for the parties and it does this by assessing primarily moral considerations. By referring to particular cases reviewed by the Panel, Dr Woodhead offered broader observations on available remedies for past cultural wrongs and injustices.

The event was held at the Institute of Art History of the University of Warsaw.

Hanna Schreiber in NATO MP COE talks about culture

Hanna Schreiber, Polish Research Team, has been a guest speaker in the course organized for soldiers in the NATO Military Police Centre of Excellence located in Bydgoszcz (25-26 September 2017). Dr Schreiber has cooperated with the Centre for many years – it has been her 8th course already. She has delivered lectures on the topics of cross-cultural awareness, culture and cultural heritage protection in the operational environment. Twenty six participants from sixteen countries took part in the training.