UK’s Cultural Protection Fund to Rescue Heritage Open for Applications

The Cultural Protection Fund, intended to protect cultural heritage overseas, is now open for its initial round of grant funding.

The £30 million Fund is focused on supporting UK organisations that are working with local partner organisations in one or more of the Fund’s current target countries within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, specifically: Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Palestinian Territories, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen.

For more information on how to apply, please visit the British Council website here

The UKNC is one of the bodies working alongside government as a member of the Fund’s steering board.

The establishment of the Fund, by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport is representative of the UK’s commitment to safeguarding our shared heritage at risk. In line with the central aims of the Fund, the UKNC welcomed the announcement, made in the Queen’s Speech earlier this year, that the UK Government will ratify the UNESCO Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two Protocols.

UKNC’s Non-Executive Director for Culture, Helen Maclagan, said:

“It’s great to see this commitment to international cultural protection. We look forward to continuing to work with government as the UK develops its international role in this field – the significance of which could not be more relevant just now”.

New legislation within a UK-wide Cultural Property Bill will pave the way for the UK to ratify the Convention and its two Protocols of 1954 and 1999.

Agreed by the international community in the devastating aftermath of the Second World War, the Hague Convention and its Protocols are the primary international humanitarian law regarding the protection of cultural property during armed conflict.

The introduction of the Cultural Property Bill will also mean that attacks on cultural property will become a criminal offence and ensure that all cultural property that is protected by the Hague Convention is easily identifiable with the emblem of the Blue Shield – commonly referred to as a cultural heritage equivalent of the Red Cross.

Read more about the progress of the Cultural Protection Bill here