England’s Daily Telegraph recently published an article (linked here) about the British Army’s revival of a Monuments Men unit. For those of you who haven’t seen the 2014 movie, the Monuments Men, more formally the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section (MFAA) were a coalition group of men and women from 13 different nations to save the world’s great art and cultural objects from looting by the Nazis or destruction during World War II. England is reviving this project through its Cultural Property Protection Unit. With the devestation of cultural objects and sites in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other occupied war zones, the British military is addressing the need for active protection and preservation of these sites. They are currently recruiting from the Army, Navy, Royal Air Force, and Royal Marines. Interested civilians will have to enlist in the Army Reserves. Are any of Marabou’s followers from the UK interested?
This project, of course, brings up a lot of questions for Marabou relating to ownership and outsiders acting as stewards of another culture’s artifacts. However, Marabou is happy to see that there will be effort and money focused on the preservation of cultural sites and objects from areas that are suffering because of military occupation and warfare. It looks like the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is partnering with the UK to ensure proper methods of handling and protecting historic sites.
For even more reading:
About the UNESCO Cultural Property Protection Manual
Link directly to a PDF of the UNESCO Cultural Property Protection Manual
The Monuments Men Official Site (not just about the movie, but also provides a list of related books and resources for educators.)