On December 8th and 9th, 2016, the Intergovernmental Committee for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict held its 11th session, at UNESCO’s headquarters, in Paris. Among other points, the Committee examined the request made by Georgia for granting enhanced protection to the Historical Monuments of Mtskheta.
Members of the Committee decided that the cultural property of the Historical Monuments of Mtskheta complies with the three conditions for granting enhanced protection:
- the site complies with the condition of being of the greatest importance for humanity (Historical Monuments of Mtskheta are inscribed on the List of Cultural Heritage of UNESCO since 1994);
- the site complies with the condition of being protected by adequate domestic legal and administrative measures recognizing its exceptional cultural and historic value and ensuring the highest level of protection;
- the site is not and will not be used for military purposes or to shield military sites.
Consequently, the Committee decided to grant the status of enhanced protection to the Historical Monuments of Mtskheta.
It is important to notice that properties under the enhanced protection status are protected by an immunity the violation of which constitutes an offence engaging criminal responsibility according to the Second Protocol to the Convention for the protection of cultural property in case of armed conflict of 1954.
Furthermore, Georgia, as a Committee member since 2013, was reelected at the post of vice-President of the Committee.
The Georgian Delegation participating in the session of the Committee consisted of representatives of the Permanent Delegation of Georgia to UNESCO, the Administration of the Government of Georgia and the National Agency for the protection of the cultural heritage of the Ministry of Culture.