Threats to Cultural Properties

Shuri Castle: Okinawa, Japan
     Michio Matsukubo
               Academic Fellow
CCGS, Fukuoka

In many parts of the globe violence and war-like situations are emerging, and they pose a potential threat to cultural properties. Earlier in Afghanistan and later in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the globe, terrorism was the main cause for destruction of the cultural properties in their respective territories.   
Recently, in countries like France and Japan, it was fire which destroyed Notre Dome and Shuri Castle, respectively. Some times socio-political unrest becomes the root cause of such destructions. The protection, preservation and maitainance of such cultural properties cost millions of dollars all over the world. There is also a debate, whether this huge amount can be utilized for other purposes like eradication of poverty etc. Why cultural properties are so important to be preserved and maintained for the posteriority? 
Cultural properties are, ‘movable or immovable property of great importance to the cultural heritage of every people, such as monuments of architecture, art or history, whether religious or secular; archaeological sites; groups of buildings which, as a whole, are of historical or artistic interest; works of art; manuscripts, books and other objects of artistic, historical or archaeological interest; as well as scientific collections and important collections of books or archives or of reproductions of the property defined above.’ It clearly reflects the importance and necessity of cultural properties. Though there are other issues before humankind but cultural properties too cannot be ignored.
Addressing social unrests, terrorism, natural disasters properly, ensure protection of cultural properties. The world is becoming more violent as dissatisfaction from the governments are on rise. The civilizational and religious clashes are also increasing and makes a potential threat to cultural properties. Saving them is as necessary as anything else. Proper security arrangements, awareness, safety from natural and manmade disasters, socio-political harmony are the key points to avoid threats for these important properties.    

Video: City & Life-Tokyo

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