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On 14 April 2015 the V&A hosted an international conference to discuss the issue of Culture in Crisis. The V&A partnered with the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Yale University and operated under the patronage of UNESCO.

The conference was presented in three parts:

  • Lessons from the past: Reminding ourselves of damage caused in countries such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cyprus, Korea and Nigeria. Exploring not just the extent of the loss of cultural heritage, but the impact that these crimes had on the local people and on their ability to recover and forgive.
  • Current concerns: Experts described what is really happening on the ground at the moment.
  • The Future: We heard from those involved in protection and detection efforts worldwide. A panel of experts discussed the role for museums and the wider international cultural community.

The conference was free to attend. The audience was formed from a mixture of the public and invited international guests from: museums, universities, embassies, governments, legislators, law enforcement, NGO’s, Charities, the Art Trade and the media.

Welcome and introductory remarks by Martin Roth, Director of the V&A

View transcript of video

The entire conference was filmed and edited is available on the V&A YouTube Channel
View Culture in Crisis on YouTube

The participants of the conference have agreed to a number of recommendations. They have been approved by UNESCO and presented at the World Heritage Council Meeting in Bonn June 2015. 
Download: London declaration on Culture in Crisis (PDF file, 87KB)

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