A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
After 45 years of review, the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict has been sent to the Senate for ratification (the U.S. has abided by the convention in the meantime). More than 80 countries are party to the 1954 convention, which provides for safeguarding cultural property during time of war or military occupation. In a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, President Clinton noted, "The United States signed the Convention on May 14, 1954. Since that time, it has been subject to detailed inter-agency reviews." The letter offered no explanation of why the reviews took so long. The military okayed it six years ago, and since then it has apparently gathered dust at the State Department.